Actress Adèle Haenel walked out of last night’s César Awards in Paris after Roman Polanski won Best Director for his movie An Officer and a Spy.
The director beat out fellow nominees including Ladj Ly, whose Les Misérables won Best Film, and Céline Sciamma, whose wildly acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire went home with just one award, for Best Cinematography.
Polanski’s win did not sit well with Portrait of a Lady on Fire star Adèle Haenel, who was spotted walking out of the ceremony at the Salle Pleyel when the award was announced. See the actress leave the awards below.
Adèle forever. pic.twitter.com/Fhe9xSLxCK
— Portrait of a Lady on Fire (@Portrait_Movie) February 28, 2020
An active voice in the #MeToo movement, Haenel spoke to the New York Times last week about her experiences in the French movie industry, explaining that she believes France must do more to help sexual assault victims.
That claim appeared to resonate at the Césars – France’s equivalent to the Oscars – when Polanski, a convicted sex offender, won the top directing prize.
In 2018, Haenel spoke about her own experience with sexual harassment while working with director Christophe Ruggia on The Devils.
Polanski didn’t attend the ceremony because he predicted “deplorable conditions” in which activists would gather to protest against him. He said he wouldn’t appear at the event due to fears of “public lynching” by feminist activists.
The 87-year-old director has been a fugitive from the US criminal justice system since 1978 after pleading guilty to statutory rape.