maintenance, clarifications, apologies… How do the signatories of the forum in support of the actor really position themselves?

Around fifty artists signed a platform on Christmas Day to support the actor accused of sexist and sexual violence. After the publication of several counter-opinions, some signatories of the initial text are backpedaling.

Backpedaling, silence, persistence… The 56 signatories of the column published Monday December 25 denouncing a “lynching against Gérard Depardieu no longer form a united front. The 75-year-old artist, accused by 16 women of sexist and sexual violence, has caused growing unease since a report by “Complément d’investigation” broadcast at the beginning of December. In particular, we see the actor, on a trip to North Korea, sexualizing a child and making numerous degrading and sexist remarks towards women.

Since then, reactions have multiplied and counter-opinions have continued. The latest, signed by some 150 artists and published Monday January 1 in Releaseproclaims that “art is not a totem of impunity”. Faced with this media hype, several signatories of the pro-Depardieu text are distancing themselves. Others, on the contrary, reaffirm their support for the one they describe as “last sacred monster of French cinema. Franceinfo takes stock of the signatures of the initial column, which some may have initialed hastily.

Those who persist and (re)sign

Censorship. A fear brandished by several supporters of Gérard Depardieu, who see in this forum the opportunity to defend freedom of expression. Among them, the actor Michel Fau affirmed on the microphone of BFMTV that theThe artist must remain extravagant, scandalous, obscene and unmanageable“.

His initial indignation is shared by the author of the column, Yannis Ezziadicolumnist for the reactionary magazine Talker. He appears scandalized on franceinfo: “What right would we have to prevent Gérard Depardieu, what reprehensible thing did he do? He made jokes! Of the “jokes” that the writer Jean-Marie Rouartof the French Academy, assimilates on BFMTV to “the Gallic spirit of France”, shortly after launching: “Do you believe that, in Rabelais, there is no rudeness?”

On their side, Carla Brunithe actress Myriam Boyerthe singer Roberto Alagnathe former director of the Cinémathèque française Serge Toubiana and the stylist Marie Beltrami put forward the presumption of innocence to justify their commitment. Marion Lahmer, a 31-year-old actress, joins them. She declared on franceinfo that she had found “disturbing” duty “the pack which begins to bark against this man and against these images put together to guide a thought and an opinion about this man”.

The actress Nathalie Baye for its part spoke out against a lynching that earns journalists money. Added to this is the argument of his proximity to the accused: He can say bad words, but I know that he is not at all the man that is described in a monstrous way in the ridiculous celebrity press.” she proclaimed on BFMTV.

Finally, the singer Afida Turner justified his support for Gérard Depardieu nearby Parisian: “I’ve always liked his films, his frankness; he can be vulgar, (…) make ass jokes. I too, make them all day long.”

Those who qualify their position

Players Yvan Attal And Gérard Darmon show more restraint. While the first admitted on BFMTV to feeling a “faintnessthe second insisted on “rectify” his initials at the RTL microphone. Be careful, saying: ‘we touch Depardieu, we touch art’ and all that, it’s bullshit”he declared, just after explaining that he “a holy horror, beyond Depardieu, hordes of dogs, those who hit a man to the ground, the bashing, relentlessness.” The actor then assured that he had received the column by e-mail, and said he did not know its author.

This is the main point of tension: Yannis Ezziadi had already tried to rehabilitate the writer Gabriel Matzneff, accused of rape of minors, at the time of the film’s release. The consent, adapted from the book by Vanessa Springora. A dividing profile on which Carole Bouquet and the ex-agent Dominique Besnehard regretted not having informed themselves enough. The actor’s former companion said in particular “deeply uncomfortable”specifying “not supporting ideas and values” from the magazine polemicist Talkeraged 32.

If the director Josée Dayan announced in a press release to AFP that it would not withdraw its signature “for the moment” in the name of the presumption of innocence, she also expressed her regrets “to be associated with the initiator of this forum whose [elle ignorait] political commitment and who presented himself as an actor wanting to defend Gérard”. A position shared by the actor Charles Berling, who wrote on his Instagram account [combattre] on a daily basis the far-right ideas held by the author [du  texte]”.

Those who apologize

“My signature was another rape.” The actor and director Jacques Weber turns around. In a post published on “The Mediapart Club“, he returns at length to his contribution to this emphatic and indiscriminate petition initiated by dishonest and dangerous people.” Expressing solidarity to the “thousands of women around the world who suffer from a situation that has been accepted for too long”, Jacques Weber says he measures his “blindly”, officially dissociating itself from this platform, even if the text published in Le Figaro does not (yet) mention this change of heart.

Peter Richard also sent his mea culpa on his said “sincerely sorry, even upset”, grateful to have signed “without knowing the ideological movement in which the pen of this petition evolves, a movement light years away from [ses] commitments”.

Finally, the director, screenwriter and author Nadine Trintignant is, for the moment, the only one to have officially withdrawn her signature from the platform. An announcement made to the magazine Point Friday, accompanied by the reason which pushed her to support Gérard Depardieu: “I am against the media lynching that I experienced with violence in the press, which spoke of a crime of passion regarding my daughter. Today, we speak of it as a murder and that is good.” Her daughter, Marie, was killed by Bertrand Cantat in 2003. Now aged 89, Nadine Trintignant backpedaled after discovering the identity of the author of the column: “I ask the people I have shocked not to blame me for my serious mistake.”

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