Gérard Depardieu affair: Emmanuel Macron's comments on the actor who “makes France proud” strongly criticized

Gérard Depardieu affair: Emmanuel Macron's comments on the actor who “makes France proud” strongly criticized

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The words of Emmanuel Macron, who, on Wednesday evening, defended Gérard Depardieu, targeted by complaints for rape and sexual assault, were strongly criticized, Thursday, December 21, by personalities from the political and associative world.

In the program “C à vous”, broadcast on France 5, the Head of State declared that Mr. Depardieu had “made France, our great authors, our great characters known throughout the world (…); he makes France proud.” Mr. Macron also denounced a “manhunt” against the actor, following the broadcast of a France 2 investigation into the film star. Gérard Depardieu, targeted by two complaints in France for rape and sexual assault, is indicted in one of the two cases. He refutes these accusations. In total, fourteen women testified, most of them in a Mediapart investigation published in April, of sexual violence on the part of the actor. The vast majority of them did not file a complaint.

“No, we are not proud of Gérard Depardieu,” said former President of the Republic François Hollande on France Inter. Mr. Macron “spoke about Gérard Depardieu, his talent, and the presumption of innocence. I am going to tell you about the fourteen women attacked, the humiliated women, the women upset by the images they saw, all these women who see through Gérard Depardieu what violence, domination, contempt can be. , declared Mr. Hollande. For him, what was “expected” from Emmanuel Macron was “to talk about women, and not simply to say that he was a great actor” . “No, we are not proud of Gérard Depardieu ,” continued the former president, “when, looking at a young girl riding a horse and barely 12 years old, he sexualized her” – a reference to an extract from the show “Additional investigation” broadcast on December 7.

“It’s extremely violent”

If he recognizes “the excesses” of social networks, François Hollande emphasizes that “at some point, we must also speak clearly, and say what action for women entails” . “He made this cause [the cause of women and the fight against sexual and gender-based violence] the major issue of his five-year term and this is how he treats the question of Gérard Depardieu? » , he was still surprised. Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the Socialist Party (PS ) , also questioned former Minister of Health, who resigned the day after the adoption of the “immigration” bill.

On the same network, the environmentalist MP Sandrine Rousseau denounced “an insult to the movement to free the speech of victims of sexual violence” , calling for “to take power, (…) we have no choice” . The PS senator and president of the Women’s Assembly, Laurence Rossignol, pointed out a similar speech from the head of state in each case of sexual violence: “Trust, admiration, media court; never a word for the victims. » On »

The words of the President of the Republic also caused a reaction from the associative world. “Between us and the Head of State, it is no longer a gap, it is a gaping hole,” Maëlle Noir, from the national coordination of the Nous tous collective, told Agence France-Presse (AFP). . The president’s comments “are not only scandalous but dangerous, it sends a signal to continue not to believe the victims, to trample on their words with complete impunity,” she said. “It is extremely violent, a huge step backwards in the political stance taken against violence committed against women. »

End of relative appeasement with feminist associations

Same analysis at the Women’s Foundation, whose president, Anne-Cécile Mailfert, singled out Emmanuel Macron’s “masculinist” convictions and said she “no longer has any hope” or “illusion” about him regarding the questions women’s rights. “We are clearly in the culture of rape, in the discourse which aims to reverse guilt: it is no longer Gérard Depardieu the hunter, the predator, it is the women who would hunt the men, who would target them. »

“It is all the more serious as we are talking about the President of the Republic, his words commit our country and have a real impact,” she told AFP. “He could have said that it is unbearable to talk like that about women, that equality between women and men is enshrined in the Constitution, he could have had a message for the victims of Gérard Depardieu and women in general . He did not do it. »

These tensions between the Head of State and feminist associations put an end to the relative appeasement which has prevailed since the presentation in mid-December of a constitutional bill aimed at including the freedom to resort to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) in the Constitution. If the formulation chosen – “freedom” and not “right” – did not satisfy feminist activists, the latter nevertheless welcomed a “strong symbol” after the regression of this right in the United States in 2022.

Carole Bouquet defends Depardieu

In this context, Emmanuel Macron’s defense of Gérard Depardieu goes all the more poorly, notes Louise Delavier, of the En avant tout(s) association. “Making so much communication to talk about the defense of women and their rights, and then going to outrageously defend someone like Depardieu, that creates cognitive dissonance,” according to her. “It’s “at the same time” which is not happy on these subjects. »

Thursday evening, Gérard Depardieu received the support of his former partner, Carole Bouquet. “I have a real problem with what is happening with Gérard at the moment… I am afraid for him,” the actress declared on the show “Quotidien” on TMC. “This media tribunal continues, it’s been going on for months and it’s killing a man. I can not support it. I have no possible tenderness for someone who turns out to be a monster, but that is not the case with Gérard,” she continued.

“Gérard is capable of being rude, of having sometimes borderline humor, but he is incapable of hurting a woman,” she assured, recalling having experienced “ten years of sexuality” with him.

The World with AFP

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