Disgraced filmmaker and convicted rapist Roman Polanski, 84, is making waves with recent negative comments he made about the #MeToo movement.
Law enforcement arrested Polanski in 1977 for rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, and lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14 years of age. He ultimately pled guilty to a charge of "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor," which would have resulted in his conviction on that count, but he fled the country before his sentencing hearing. He has remained a fugitive from U.S. law enforcement since, living abroad in Europe.
What did he say?
In this week's edition of Newsweek Polska, Polanski dismissed the #MeToo movement as "collective hysteria" and "total hypocrisy."
"I think this is the kind of mass hysteria that occurs in society from time to time," he said of the #MeToo movement, noting that "sometimes it’s very dramatic, like the French Revolution or the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in France, or sometimes it’s less bloody, like 1968 in Poland or McCarthyism in the US."
"Everyone is trying to sign up, chiefly out of fear," he said, and according to the interview, compared it to "North Korea's public mourning for its leaders" when everyone "cries so much that 'you can't help laughing.'"
"I think it's total hypocrisy," he added.
Polanski reportedly gave the interview prior to being thrown out of the Academy along with convicted sex offender Bill Cosby.
On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences voted to remove him and Cosby from its ranks amid the hypercharged #MeToo environment plaguing Hollywood and popular culture.
"The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy's values of respect for human dignity," a statement from the Academy on the matter read.
CNN reported that this is the first time Academy members have voted to "rescind an induction or award" in its 69-year history.
Polanski also called the Academy's move to expel him the "height of hypocrisy," and said that comparing him to Cosby "was a total misunderstanding and harassment."
Also, Polanski threatened to sue the Academy over their "illegal" expulsion.