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French Film Guild Considers Expelling Members Guilty of Sexual Offenses

Following recent explosive allegations by actresses Adele Haenel and Valentine Monnier of harassment and assault at the hands of male directors, France’s authors, directors and producers guild said Tuesday that it will consider sanctions against any member being investigated for or found guilty of a sexual offense.

The Société Civile des Auteurs, Réalisateurs, Producteurs (ARP) said in a statement that, although it is not an adjudicator of such allegations, “as an organization we must take into account the fact that our profession, because of the power it yields, can open the door to reprehensible excesses. These can’t in any case be justified, nor can they be tolerated. That’s why the board of the ARP will propose during the next administrative council that, from now on, any member who has been convicted of a sexual offense be expelled and any member under investigation be suspended” from the guild.

The organization’s next board meeting is to take place Monday. The ARP is one of France’s most powerful film guilds, with an administrative board that includes Oscar-winning director and honorary president Claude Lelouch, Radu Mihaileanu, Costa Gavras, Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano and Jean-Paul Salomé.

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The guild’s statement came amid the stir created by Haenel’s accusation that director Christophe Ruggia had sexually harassed her for several years, when she was a young girl, and Monnier’s allegation that Roman Polanski raped her 44 years ago. Both men strongly deny the allegations leveled against them.

Without naming anyone, the ARP said that it “strongly supports all victims of moral and sexual violence.”

The Société des Réalisateurs de Films, one of France’s guilds representing directors, has already expelled Ruggia.

Monnier’s allegation against Polanski has received wall-to-wall media coverage in France. Since the news broke last Friday, local promotion of Polanski’s latest film, “An Officer and a Spy,” has been axed from French radio and TV networks. However, the film’s premiere in Paris on Tuesday evening went ahead, and its wide release is still set for Wednesday across the country. Polanski attended the premiere on Tuesday with his cast, including Jean Dujardin and Emmanuelle Seigner.

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