Hollywood filmmaker and accused sex offender Roman Polanski called the “#MeToo” movement an example of mass hysteria that sometimes catches fire in society.
The movement is a type of “collective hysteria of the kind that sometimes happens in the society,” he told a Polish edition of Newsweek before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pulled his membership.
Polanski fled the U.S. in 1977 while after being convicted of having sex with a minor. He also compared the film industry’s response to the wave of recent sexual misconduct allegations to the way North Korea treats dead leaders.
“To me, this is total hypocrisy,” he said. “Everyone is trying to sign up, chiefly out of fear.” The Academy yanked the membership positions of both Polanski and comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted May 3 of aggravated indecent assault.
Polanski, for his part, remained in good standing with the Academy for four decades despite fleeing to avoid prison time after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He was nominated for five awards and even won Best Director for 2003’s “The Pianist” — an award he will not be required to surrender.
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