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France: the dissolution of Parliament also blocks the commission of inquiry into metoo

“Once upon a time […] a commission of inquiry into violence in the world of culture. This evening the President swept everything under the carpet.” The Green MP on Sunday evening Francesca Pasquini reacted to the announcement of the dissolution of the Assemblée Nationale with a bitter tweet. Members of parliament see the ongoing work blocked by the decision of Emmanuel Macron, who chose to call legislative elections with minimal notice after the landslide victory in France of the Rassemblement National in the European elections.

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Among the projects involved: the commission of inquiry into violence in the cinema, audiovisual, fashion, advertising and live entertainment sectors, in the wake of the controversy in France over metooof which Francesca Pasquini is the speaker.

The commission was established after that Judith Godrèche he reported Benoît Jacquot And Jacques Doillon for rape of minors. Less than a week after her touching speech at the César Awards, the actress and director was heard by the Senate. In front of the Senate delegation for women’s rights, the actress and director recounted her experience of sexual and sexist violence in the world of cinema. You denounced a world that resembles an “incestuous family”, conducive to the “erasure of the subject”, dominated by “lustful” or “passive adults, submissive to the omnipotence of patriarchy”.

Judith Godrèche’s appeal

For several months Judith Godrèche has been talking about the control, attacks and rapes she suffered as a child and teenager at the hands of Benoît Jacquot, with whom she had a relationship for six years (from the age of 14, between 1986 and 1992), and Jacques Doillon, for whom she shot a film. Her declared goal: to change the bad habits of the cinema world. In the Senate you proposed concrete measures to protect children on film sets. The first of these? The opening of a commission of inquiry into sexual and gender-based violence in the film industry.

The provision was adopted by the Assembly on May 2, with the extension to other creative sectors linked to image. The film, audiovisual, advertising, fashion and performing arts industries […] they have common characteristics”, explained Francesca Pasquini. The mechanisms of predation, isolation and silence are the same everywhere, but they seem to thrive even more in these industries, which operate in a vacuum like a large family, and where the relationship between children and adults, and the relationship with the body and image, they are so particular.”

Hearings interrupted

The commission was established to take stock of the violence committed against minors and adults, to identify the mechanisms and shortcomings that allow abuse to occur and, finally, to put forward concrete proposals to remedy the situation, both at a legislative level both on the field. The hearings began on May 22nd. Some statements had already caused a sensation, in particular that of the director Michel Hazanavicius. Presenting himself to the commission as president of Fémis, he hailed a “revolution” that is taking place “in an almost peaceful way and without heads falling”: “We are not in a climate of terror. It’s something that is being done in a very adult, intelligent and extraordinary way […]». The director also added: «The somewhat systematic explanation of silence in cinema, […] I find it a bit excessive and a bit imaginative.” Stephane Gaillard, casting director and leading figure of the #MeTooGarçons movement, provided a testimony of great impact by inviting us to “confront reality”: “The silence is a reality. Talking has a price.”

They were also listened to Elisabeth Tanner, president of the French union of artistic and literary agents, e Iris Brey, author and director. The 30 members of the commission chaired by Erwan Balanant they were stopped while they were busy gathering the opinions of professionals in the sector and victims.

Solid evidence

In a statement shared on Monday evening, the commission’s rapporteur deplored Emmanuel Macron’s decision: «The 35 hours of hearings and the 70 people listened to showed us the scale of the task and allowed us to identify solutions to put an end to the violence: ban nudity in castings, extend the obligation to use a responsible person for children, make the presence of an intimacy coordinator mandatory, make sexual violence imprescriptible, etc. […]». The commission has set itself the objective of assessing the severity of the situation in the film industry over a six-month period, with a report to be presented in November 2024. Judith Godrèche shared on her Instagram account her disappointment at the arrest of the work begun, which the dissolution is “sending up in smoke”: “Once again silence becomes the soundtrack.”

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Source: Vanity Fair

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