Adele Haenel walked out of the Cesar Awards when Roman Polanski won

Stars get seated at the 2020 Cesar Film Awards in Paris

This lovely woman in blue is Adele Haenel, star of Portrait of a Lady on Fire and a nominee at Friday evening’s Cesar Awards in Paris. Adele Haenel has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, and she’s argued that the French film industry needs its own Me Too reckoning. She was also victimized and harassed by a grown man (a director) when she was 12 years old. Adele has been very vocal about Roman Polanski and how wrong it was that Polanski’s film, An Officer and a Spy, was nominated for 12 Cesars. Before the Cesars, she said “Distinguishing #Polanski is spitting in the face of all victims. It means raping women isn’t that bad.” Well, guess what? Polanski won for Best Director at the Cesars. He did not attend the ceremony, because he was afraid of being “lynched.” After he won, Adele walked out of the ceremony:

She was not alone – a few other female artists walked out of the awards show. But most stayed. Which sucks. It feels like the French film industry really does need a Me Too moment. Maybe it’s here.

Embed from Getty Images

Other photos from the Cesar Awards… Vincent Cassel and his young wife Tina Kunakey Cassel, Fanny Ardant, and Eva Green. Eva worked with Polanski several years back. I haven’t heard anything about Eva walking out. Hm.

Stars take the red carpet at the Cesar Film Awards 2020 in Paris

Stars take the red carpet at the Cesar Film Awards 2020 in Paris

Stars take the red carpet at the Cesar Film Awards 2020 in Paris

Photos courtesy of Getty, Backgrid.

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34 Responses to “Adele Haenel walked out of the Cesar Awards when Roman Polanski won”

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  1. Léna says:

    I also want to point out that Florence Foresti who was hosting the event didn’t return to close the ceremony after Polanski’s win and she posted an Insta story saying : “disgusted”. And around a hundred people were protesting outside the venue before and during the ceremony. French people are really aware of how stupid and elitist french cinema is. As a french woman, I am proud Adele walked out, but I wish it didn’t have to happen in the first place… I am angry

    • Kaiser says:

      I didn’t understand the Foresti thing – was she the host or just the “opener”? Did she leave right after Polanski’s win?

      • Léna says:

        She was the host. She did an opening gig and then came back several times in between Césars to make some more jokes (she did quite some about Polanski too). She is a feminist and is the godmother of a organization supporting abused women.

        After Polanski’s win, there was only the César for Best Movie left, she probably left around that time and didn’t return to close the ceremony 🙂

  2. Lena says:

    “portray of a young lady on fire“ is an incredible, very feminist film and it makes total sense that they walked out.

    • Léna says:

      It does and the director is so powerful and I love her

    • Diana says:

      Yes! My favourite film of the past year. I was surprised when it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar!

    • Delph says:

      French here too. Florence Foresti had a tough job. It was not her first time hosting but this year was not easy. And she slayed. She burned him all along while remaining class.
      Kudos to her. I am ashamed about Fanny Ardant though. She said she loved him and when she loves someone she loves fully. She was genuinely happy for his win.
      Lots of actors declined presenting awards in case he would win. One of them didn’t decline but when it was time to announce the names he made sure the names would not be audible

  3. AliceMadHatter says:

    French fellow person here. I’m incensed.
    They gave him TWO freaking awards, best director and best adapted screenplay.
    I think the movie was probably awarded because it deals with an important part of our history but still. It’s infuriating.

  4. Mia4s says:

    Yeah it’s gross that anyone stayed to be honest.

    I held my tongue for the most part a few years back when Kristen Stewart stans we’re going on and on about her being the first American actress to win a Cesar and how that was so prestigious and cultured and all about great art!…..So I’m done doing that now. The French film community ain’t s**t. They’re as compromised and ridiculous as the Academy. How ridiculous? The only woman to win Best Director is also a signatory of the Free Polanski petition. Oh and Luc Besson (in addition to overall abuse allegations we know he was openly in a relationship with a 15 year old) has won best director. Agnes Varda didn’t. Yep. Just because it’s in French doesn’t make it classier (I should know, I speak French and I’m certainly not classy!! 😁 ).

  5. Coz' says:

    Adele Haenel is a hero. The way she spoke out about her abuse and more generally about rape culture… I have such deep admiration for her.

  6. msd says:

    The whole Portrait of a Lady on Fire team, lead by Adele, walked out. Then a few others followed. I’m proud of these women! If you haven’t seen the film, please do; it’s wonderful.

    I read that Polanski won BD 4 out of the last 10 years at the Cesars. The sad fact is that the organisation doesn’t give a shit about abuse. I complain about the Oscars plenty but the Academy does have a large contingent trying to effect cultural change. The Cesars is more like a closed shop. Cannes is similar. There seems to be a major disconnect from the public, too. Most French people were furious, if I recall correctly, with the idiotic pro-Polanski petition.

  7. Aims says:

    Good for her! If more people took a stand and became loud, maybe things would change. It is unimaginable too me that this criminal is celebrated instead of being held accountable for his crimes.

  8. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I’m disappointed in all those who didn’t walk out. Good for her and the others who did.

  9. SJR says:

    Why is anyone still agreeing to work with Polanski?
    He should have been shunned decades ago.
    Good for her for walking out!

  10. LeaTheFrench says:

    On a slightly more positive note: Polanski’s nomination in 12 (!!) categories led to the resignation of the entire board of the Cesar in the weeks leading to the ceremony (in protest) and subsequently of the President (not in protest – he thought he was doing just fine. But the scandal was just too big to ignore.) So there’s (some) hope for change.

    • Léna says:

      I’m not entirely sure the board resignation is only due to Polanski nominations. As I understood it, it was also a lack of transparency on the votes, huge issues of communication regarding the godmothers and godfathers of young nominees, and lack of females among voters… Cesars are so outdated anyway, too much “entre soi”

  11. Lisa says:

    Good for her and the other women who walked out.

  12. Nic919 says:

    Twitter has been including a clip of a French comedienne at another award show making cutting jokes about directors going after kids and then saying why do use the artist excuse for pedophilia but they don’t grant the same benefit of the doubt for bakers who make good bread.
    It has more impact if you understand French, but the room was uncomfortable at the hard truths she was stating in a humorous way.

  13. Eleonor says:

    She shouted even in the audience.

  14. MC2 says:

    Just looked up showing times of Portrait of a Lady on Fire & will hit one of the theaters in my city playing it tonight! Happy that she walked out & for this post.

  15. Chica71 says:

    The age difference b/w Vincent Cassell and his wife is extremely jarring. He aged like crazy..

  16. My3cents says:

    I’m not French, but I think France has a bit of a history of turning the blind eye in the name of “sexual freedom”.
    Just this year Vanessa Springora published a memoir detailing her grooming and sexual abuse as child with well known author Matzneff.
    This guy sat on TV panels in the seventies and eighties boosting sex with children and everyone just laughed it away.
    Hearing her story is quite compelling and disturbing.

    • Léna says:

      Mmh… Not normal french people though… Maybe people in the public eye, so called intellectuals and rich people,, but I have never encountered a french person old enough to remember the 60s/70s and who believed pedophilia was ok at that time.

  17. Mar says:

    These people are really well dressed! Wow love the fashion

  18. TheOriginalMia says:

    Good on Adele and Celine! Really good on all of those that walked out or protested celebrating that rapist.

  19. Valerie says:

    Amazing. Fuck Polanski.