The full board of the César Academy, which distributes France’s equivalent of the Oscars, has resigned in the wake of strong criticism of its nomination for 12 honours for the film by French-Polish director Roman Polanski. The decision to honour the Polanski film “An Officer and a Spy” has angered feminist groups and has led to calls for the honours to be boycotted.
Polanski has been wanted in the US since the seventies in connection with the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. Hundreds of actors, producers and directors have also called for reform. In an open letter, they pointed to the malfunction of the César Academy and to lack of transparency in its management.
The news of the resignation of the Academy’s board has come as a shock for the 45th edition of the Paris ceremony which is scheduled for 28 February. The Academy declared in a statement that the collective resignation allows for a full renewal of the board. An annual general meeting will be held after the awards ceremony, for the election of a new board to implement reforms and modernise the institution.