The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got an earful from Roman Polanski’s wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, after she received an invitation to join the academy just weeks after the organization kicked out her husband.
The AP reports that Seigner penned “a seething open letter” published Sunday in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. The letter is strongly supportive of her husband and critical of the academy.
Polanski was booted from the academy along with Bill Cosby back in May.
The AP notes that the organization is “striving to diversify the membership that votes on the Academy Awards. The academy invited 928 entertainment industry professionals, 49 percent of whom are women.”
Seigner, 52, wrote in the piece: “I have always been a feminist. But how can I ignore the fact that a few weeks ago the Academy expelled my husband, Roman Polanski, in an attempt to appease the zeitgeist — the very same Academy which (in 2003) awarded him an Oscar for ‘The Pianist’! A curious case of amnesia!”
The AP notes: “The film academy last year adopted a code of conduct following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which gave the organization’s board of governors the power to vote out members. While the expulsions of Weinstein and Cosby were expected, Polanski’s case has long been more divisive in Hollywood.”
Polanski has been living in exile since 1978, after pleading guilty in 1977 to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in a California case.
“Seigner strongly took issue with critics of her husband, who she said has ‘been falsely slandered as a pervert’ since he fled the U.S.,” the AP reports.
Seigner writes in the open letter: “The Academy probably thinks I am enough of a spineless, social climbing actress that I would forget that I have been married for the past 29 years to one of the world’s greatest directors. I love him, he is my husband and the father of my children. He has been cast out like a pariah. Yet these same nameless academicians think that I should ‘mount the steps of glory’ behind his back? The insufferable hypocrisy!”
She adds: “This proposal is one insult too many. I cannot remain silent any longer. You offend me whilst claiming to want to protect women!”
Here’s a scene featuring Seigner and Harrison Ford in the 1988 movie “Frantic,” directed by Polanski …