The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled the acclaimed European film director in May over a 1977 statutory rape conviction. His wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, says the Academy showed "insufferable hypocrisy."
French actress Emmanuelle Seigner (pictured) on Sunday rejected an invitation to join the body that awards the Oscars in response to its decision to expel her husband, director Roman Polanski, over a statutory rape conviction.
"How can I pretend to ignore that the Academy a few weeks ago kicked out my husband, Roman Polanski, to satisfy the zeitgeist," she wrote in an open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in France's Journal du Dimanche.
Polanski, 84, was convicted of statutory rape in 1977 after he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles. He fled the US a year later and has refused to return amid concerns he could be forced to serve a lengthy jail sentence.
"This Academy probably thinks that I am an actress sufficiently arriviste, without character to forget that she has been married for 29 years to one of the greatest directors," Seigner wrote, denouncing the body's "insufferable hypocrisy."
"Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown," and "The Pianist" are among Polanski's most acclaimed works.
The Academy attempted to bolster the number of women and overall diversity of its membership, while at the same time responding more decisively to sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
"As for the members of the Academy," Seigler wrote. "I have only one thing to say to them: this is one woman you won't have."
amp/ls (AFP, Reuters)