New Delhi: The French César Academy, which is the equivalent of the Oscars, has decided that it would not welcome anyone who “has been accused or sentenced for acts of sexual or sexist aggression” to its ceremony next month. 

These people will not be invited to any César Academy events, but that does not preclude them from being nominated. In addition, if someone who has been charged or punished for sexual assault wins an award, no one will be allowed to speak on their behalf. The French Academy has undergone major adjustments, according to a post on the Hollywood website.

“By respect for victims (even alleged ones in the case of an indictment or a non-definitive sentence) it has been decided to not highlight people who are either indicted or sentenced for acts of violence, notably sexual or sexist violence,” the organisation shared in a statement.

This fresh action came after Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Les Amandiers (Forever Young), which had its Cannes debut the previous year, earned the actor Sofiane Bennacer a spot on the César Awards shortlist for Best Newcomer.

In November 2022, Sofiane was charged with numerous rape and violence-related offences. The César Academy initially declared they would take his name off the shortlist while the legal process was going on, but after the criticism, they changed their minds and chose to totally delete it.

After American director Roman Polanski won the Best Director award for his work on the spy movie An Officer and a Spy in 2020, the Césars also faced criticism. Roman left the country in 1978 after he admitted to having unlawful sexual relations with a minor. While awaiting the ultimate judgement, he left the nation and relocated to France, where he is still a resident today.

The 48th César Awards ceremony will be held on February 24 in Paris. At the event, American director David Fincher is scheduled to receive an honorary award.

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