Veteran French actor Catherine Deneuve has decried the MeToo movement, which started as a result of the sexual harassment scandal in the Hollywood, saying that it unfairly punishes men for flirting “insistently or clumsily”.
The actor denounced the #MeToo movement and its French equivalent, #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig), in a letter, signed by over 100 French actors, and said the movements have created a totalitarian climate by publicly prosecuting private experiences.
“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not – nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the newspaper Le Monde, according to Guardian.
“Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss,” the letter stated.
The letter also denounced a “new puritanism” and the tide of “denunciations” that have brought down scores of men following the sex-scandal that rocked Hollywood last year.
It claimed that men have been subjected to mudslinging for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually charged messages to women who did not return their attentions”.
“What began as freeing women up to speak has today turned into the opposite – we intimidate people into speaking ‘correctly,’ shout down those who don’t fall into line, and those women who refused to bend (to the new realities) are regarded as complicit and traitors,” the letter argued, adding that men should be “free to hit on” women.