(Paris) President Emmanuel Macron affirmed on Wednesday that the Legion of Honor is an Order which is “not there to preach morality”, while denouncing “a manhunt” against the actor Gérard Depardieu, following the broadcast of a shocking TV documentary on the French film star.
“One thing you’ll never see me in is manhunts. I hate that,” replied the head of state on the France 5 television channel.
The Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak announced on the same channel Friday that a “disciplinary procedure” would be initiated by the Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honor against the actor, targeted by two complaints in France for rape and sexual assault, and indicted in one of the two cases. The actor denies these accusations.
The President of the Republic said he was “a great admirer of Gérard Depardieu […] an immense actor”. “He made France, our great authors, our great characters known throughout the world […] he makes France proud,” continued Emmanuel Macron, contradicting the Minister of Culture.
In the same show, C à vous, Rima Abdul Malak estimated on Friday that the actor’s comments reported in the Complément d’investigation report are “shameful to France”.
In these images, broadcast on France 2 at the beginning of December, the giant of French cinema, known for having interpreted Commissioner Maigret as Cyrano, multiplies the misogynistic and insulting remarks by addressing women, not sparing a little girl with his remarks obscene.
Emmanuel Macron ruled on Wednesday that Rima Abdul Malak “advanced” by speaking about a procedure that could remove the actor’s distinction.
“There are sometimes outbursts over comments made. I don’t trust the context,” he insisted. And added: “The Legion of Honor is an Order of which I am in fact the grand master, which is not there to preach morality.”
“And so it is not on the basis of a report or this or that thing that we take away the Legion of Honor from an artist because at that price, we would have taken away the Legion of Honor from many artists”, further underlined the President of the Republic.
And to conclude: “you can accuse someone, there are perhaps victims, but there is also a presumption of innocence that exists”, fearing otherwise of falling into “the era of suspicion”.
Olivier Faure, the boss of the PS, criticized these comments on his social networks: “Violence against women is a major cause of the five-year term… This president does not believe in anything he announces whatever the subjects”.
“Emmanuel Macron’s words on the subject of Depardieu are once again an insult to the movement to free the speech of victims of sexual violence,” the environmentalist MP Sandrine Rousseau also attacked on her networks.