#MeToo wave in French theatre; Survivors, protesters say ‘we have had enough’

It took some time for the MeToo movement to reach the world of French theatre. Photo credit: Thomas Samson/AFP

It took some time for the MeToo movement to reach the world of French theatre. Photo credit: Thomas Samson/AFP

When the memory began to emerge, it took him another four years to find the courage to file a complaint against famed actor and theater director Michel Didim.

Alice (not her real name) said, “Filing a complaint, telling everything, it adds to the trauma.” AFP At a protest organized in Paris on Saturday by a new group #MeTooTheatre.

Alice accused Didim of raping her, more than 30 years her senior, as a 20-year acting student at the National Drama Center in Nancy.

“As an actress, I depend on people who have a lot of power,” she said, her hands trembling as she spoke, and her face completely masked to maintain anonymity.

“The directors are well aware of what is happening – that there are many hunters.”

She is not the only one to accuse Didim, who has had an illustrious career in theater in the early 1980s.

Earlier this month, several women in the newspaper Liberation accused the 63-year-old of sexual assault or harassment.

He denies the allegations but has canceled his upcoming shows and is being investigated by the police.

convicted killer

It took some time for the MeToo movement to reach the world of French theatre.

However, the current season of the Colin Theatre, one of France’s six national theatres, is witnessing protests against two controversial figures.

Activists are angered by the hiring of director Jean-Pierre Barro, who was accused of rape, which was later dismissed for lack of evidence, and rock star Bertrand Cantat, who in 2003 beat up his girlfriend. was beaten to death.

Cantat has continued to work as a solo musician since his release from prison.  photo credit: Javier Léot/AFP

Cantat has continued to work as a solo musician since his release from prison. photo credit: Javier Léot/AFP

Cantat, with former singer noir desiro (Black Desire), repeatedly punched actress Marie Trintignant (daughter of the famous actor Jean-Louis Trintignant) in the head in a Vilnius hotel room.

He died a few days later from his injuries.

The singer was sentenced to eight years in prison but was released on parole after four.

Colin’s chief, Vajdi Mouwad, chose Kent to compose the music. Only Which will open next month.

Mouwad said in a statement that he “unreservedly” supported the fight against violence and sexual harassment, but would not act as a “substitute for the judicial system”.

Although Mouawad was directly appointed by the government, Culture Minister Rosaline Bachelot told France Inter radio on Monday that it was not her job to interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the theatre, although she “overshadowed the decision to hire Cantat”. regretted”.

Mauwad has worked with Cantat in the past, casting him des fems (some women), in 2011, the same year the singer’s parole ended.

Mouwad said he fully supported the fight against violence and sexual harassment, but he would not serve as a substitute for the judicial system.  Photo credit: Stephen de Sakutin/AFP

Mouwad said he “continued” supported the fight against violence and sexual harassment, but would not act as a “substitute for the judicial system”. Photo credit: Stephen de Sakutin/AFP

An outcry at the time meant that Cantt never appeared on stage, although Mouwad still used a recording of his voice.

‘Sufficient’

Such decisions are now attracting more resistance.

The #MeTooTheatre group was formed after a blogger, Marie Coquille-Chambel, published her account of being raped by a 45-year-old actor when she was 16.

This sparked an avalanche of similar stories.

Actress Celine Langlois wrote on Twitter: “I was 23 and I had a professional meeting with a 60 year old director. He was naked in his shower when I arrived and asked me to join him.”

She was among 300 or more people who gathered for the protest on Saturday.

“We were afraid to talk for a long time. But now we have had enough,” she said. AFP.

“There was enough myth about the underrepresentation of actresses in management positions to demand that they remain young and beautiful until their death.”

It’s the uncertain nature of the job — the “fear of missing out on roles” — that has let problems go without solutions, said Letitia César-Franquet, a researcher at the mile Durkheim Center.

“There is also an attitude in the theater that “the body is something that can be treated in any way”, she said.

“If we see violence and the majority doesn’t intervene, people will go with the crowd,” she said.

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