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Adèle Haenel announces she’s retiring from the film industry

Adèle Haenel announces she’s retiring from the film industry

The star of the acclaimed film Portrait of a Lady on Fire is stepping away from the film industry due to its response to #MeToo.

Adèle Haenel has announced her retirement from the film industry.

The acclaimed French actress, 34, said she was motivated to retire due to the French film industry’s complacency and indifference to the #MeToo movement.

Haenel said her intention behind publicly declaring her retirement from the film industry was to call attention to the ‘general complacency’ within the French film industry ‘vis-àvis sexual aggressors’.

Adèle Haenel in Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Lilies Films/Arte/Hold Up Films

The Portrait of a Lady on Fire star published her retirement on the media news site Tèlèrama on Tuesday (10 May).

Haenel said the French film industry has chosen to ignore and ostracise the women who have come forward in the wake of the #MeToo movement. She reverenced several high-profile names in the industry and said they have been protected.

“They join hands [to protect] the [Gerard] Depardieus, the [Roman] Polanskis, the [Dominique] Boutonnats,” she writes in her letter. All three major French film figures have been accused of abuse.

Haenel has not appeared in a film since 2019.
Lilies Films/Arte/Hold Up Films

Depardieu, 74, was accused of sexual violence by 13 women in an investigative report published by French outlet Mediapart last month. His lawyers told the outlet that he 'formally denies all accusations susceptible of coming under criminal law.' He is also under investigation for rape and sexual assault of an actor in 2018, which his lawyer, Hervé Temime, denied and said his client ‘completely rejects the accusations’.

Roman Polanski, 89, has been wanted in the US for the rape of a 13-year-old in 1977. He admitted to having unlawful sex with her and served 42 days in prison but fled the country due to fears his plea bargain would be scrapped. He hasn’t returned to the US since.

Adèle Haenel had her film debut aged 12 in the 2002 film Les Diables.
Océan Films

Dominique Boutonnat, who was the president of France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC), was ordered to stand trial in relation to accusations of sexual assault by his adult godson. Boutonnat was replaced by Lionel Bertinet as the president of France’s most important film body.

The individuals with power inside the industry have effectively ’cancelled’ the French #MeToo movement, Haenel said in her letter. “You have the money, the strength, and all the glory [but] you won’t have me as a spectator. I cancel you from my world."

The César Award-winning actress has not appeared in a film since the release of The Portrait of a Lady on Fire in 2019.

Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo/LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, France, Sexual Abuse