The LA Times has revealed that Polanski is now taking legal action, with a letter penned by the film director’s lawyer criticising the film academy for not giving him the chance to defend himself.
The letter reads: “We are not here contesting the merits of the expulsion decision, but rather your organisation’s blatant disregard of its own standards of conduct in, as well as its violations of the standards required by California corporations code.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Polish publication Newsweek Polska, the Oscar-winning filmmaker shared his thoughts on the #MeToo movement, branding it “hypocritical” and “mass hysteria”.
Agence France Press, which translated the quotes, reported Polanski as saying: “I think this is the kind of mass hysteria that occurs in society from time to time. 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 back this movement, mainly out of fear... I think it’s total hypocrisy.”
Polanski pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977, and did not attend his sentencing, choosing to leave the US instead. A dual French-Polish citizen, he now lives mostly in Europe, and has avoided extradition back to the States ever since.
However, he has remained a prolific director, winning an Oscar in 2002 for his film, The Pianist.