Over 50 French Celebrities Support Gérard Depardieu Amid Allegations Through Essay

Over 50 French Celebrities Support Gérard Depardieu Amid Allegations Through Essay: On Tuesday, over 50 prominent figures from the French entertainment industry, including actors, writers, and producers, penned an essay in defense of acclaimed actor Gérard Depardieu amidst increasing allegations regarding his interactions with women throughout his extensive five-decade career. The move drew criticism from advocates for survivors of sexual abuse.

Over 50 French Celebrities Support Gérard Depardieu Amid Allegations Through Essay

In 2020, Depardieu faced preliminary charges of rape and sexual assault following accusations made by actor Charlotte Arnould. Additionally, multiple other women have come forward, alleging incidents of harassment, groping, or sexual assault involving Depardieu. Despite these claims, Depardieu maintains his innocence and lauded the essay as “eloquent.”
The essay, featured in the conservative publication Le Figaro, bore signatures from notable personalities such as former first lady and vocalist Carla Bruni, Depardieu’s ex-partner Carole Bousquet, and actors Pierre Richard, Charlotte Rampling, and Victoria Abril. Among the 56 individuals who signed, 24 were women. A significant portion of the signatories hail from Depardieu’s era, given that he is currently 74 years old.

A recent documentary highlighted allegations of sexual misconduct involving 16 women against Gérard Depardieu. The film also showcased the actor’s inappropriate comments and actions during a 2018 visit to North Korea. Following the documentary’s release on France-2, there were calls from certain quarters to cease broadcasting Depardieu’s acclaimed films that are considered masterpieces of contemporary French cinema.
Addressing these concerns, the essay released on Tuesday asserts, “We cannot stand idly by as he faces such vehement criticism and an overwhelming wave of negativity directed at his character. When Gérard Depardieu is under fire in this manner, it’s not just him but the very essence of cinema artistry that comes under attack.” The essay further emphasizes France’s indebtedness to Depardieu and suggests that sidelining such a monumental figure would signify a profound loss for the artistic realm.

However, Parisian legislator and advocate for women’s rights, Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu, criticized the essay’s signatories for what she views as a “wilful ignorance.” She expressed a preference for their support toward initiatives combatting sexual violence rather than defending Depardieu based on his artistic stature. “They seem to overlook his actions simply because of his status as an artist,” she remarked to France-Info.
Meanwhile, Emmanuelle Dancourt, representing the #MeTooMedia organization that aids victims of sexual misconduct within the media sector, conveyed on BFM television that the sentiments expressed in the essay resonate as dismissive and hurtful, especially for those who’ve experienced abuse at the hands of influential figures.

French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism after expressing last week that Gérard Depardieu “brings pride to France.”
In the aforementioned documentary, there’s a part where Depardieu is captured making inappropriate remarks concerning a young girl riding a horse. Macron hinted that this segment might have been edited out of context. However, France Televisions, the broadcasting entity behind the documentary, confirmed that the specific segment had been validated by an official who reviewed the original, unedited footage.

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