Following the black dresses at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, the French Academy has launched a white ribbon campaign, #NowWeAct, for this Friday’s Cesar Awards to combat violence against women.
In response to the #MeToo movement in the U.S., the French Academy is partnering with the Foundation for Women, which will hand out the ribbons to every one of the 1,700 guests entering the ceremony, and will use donations to fund its anti-violence activities.
One hundred industry players signed a letter of support for the campaign in the newspaper Liberation, including actresses Diane Kruger, Julie Gayet, Adele Haenel, Chiara Mastroianni, Vanessa Paradis, Clemence Poesy, Celine Salette and Soko.
Directors Julia Ducournau, Houda Benyamina, Tonie Marshall, Celine Sciamma, Rebecca Zlotowski and Michel Hazanavicius, the latter of whom launched his own #WeToo for men, also signed on.
Actress Rose McGowan posed with the French hashtag #MaintenantOnAgit (in French) for the foundation’s website.
This follows a far more controversial 100-signatory letter when, last month, film star Catherine Deneuve signed an op-ed in Le Monde saying the #MeToo movement had become puritanical, a witch hunt and was making hitting on women a crime. Deneuve later apologized for some of the remarks.
The Academy cites the flood of allegations against Harvey Weinstein as the catalyst for this movement, which it calls the “denunciation of machismo and violence against women, actresses today are demanding action.”
“Many actors and actresses, producers and directors want to start a constructive, positive and concrete initiative in France to support women victims of violence,” the Academy said in announcing its partnership, and will offer the ribbons as a “simple and silent way to express solidarity” in the fight for equality.
The Liberation letter also credits actresses for “piercing the wall of silence” after the allegations against Weinstein surfaced. “They paved the way. Millions of women around the world have echoed them,” it reads, adding: “We are convinced that tomorrow should not look like yesterday.”
“Now we act,” it concludes. “Together, let’s support those who work concretely so that no one ever has to say #MeToo again.”
Liberation said it will publish a series of essays before Friday’s awards ceremony about the issues surrounding abuse.
The Cesar Awards will be held March 2 at Paris’ Salle Pleyel.
As previously announced, Paradis will open the ceremony and Penelope Cruz will be the night’s honoree.