Roman Polanski calls #MeToo 'collective hysteria', threatens Academy with legal action over recent expulsion

Just after threating to take legal action against The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his recent expulsion, the disgraced director has criticized the #MeToo movement as "collective hysteria" and "total hypocrisy."

According to ABC News, Polanski made the comment in an interview published this week in the Polish edition of Newsweek.The interview was said to have taken place just a few days after the Academy revoked the director's 50-year membership. 

In the interview, the Oscar-winning filmmaker called #MeToo a "collective hysteria of the kind that sometimes happens in the society."

He continued on to compare the movement to that of a North Korean public mourning ceremony and said, "everyone is trying to sign up, chiefly out of fear."

"To me this is total hypocrisy," he concluded. 

The Academy gave Bill Cosby and Polanski the boot per its news standards of conduct, the 84-year-old director is threatening to take legal action to reverse the decision.

In a letter to the Academy President John Bailey, Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, explained that the decision was made in violation of the organization’s standards of conduct as well as California state law. He claims that Mr. Polanski should have been given a fair hearing in which he could explain his side of the story before being expelled.

“I am writing this letter to avoid unnecessary litigation,” Braun wrote in the letter, obtained by Fox News. “Mr. Polanski has a right to go to court and require your organization to follow its own procedures, as well as California law. The only proper solution would be for your organization to rescind its illegal expulsion of Mr. Polanski and follow its own Standards of Conduct by giving Mr. Polanski reasonable notice of the charges against him and a fair hearing to present his position with respect to any proposed expulsion.”

Polanski, who won the Academy Award for Best Director in 2003 for “The Pianist,” has been in a sort of exile in Europe after fleeing the United States in 1978 after being convicted of raping a then 13-year-old girl. His French citizenship has prevented him from being taken back to the U.S. and, despite his conviction, has been a prominent filmmaker for the last 40 years.

Braum is not denying or re-litigating Polanski’s controversial verdict, merely asking for the Academy to give him a chance to explain the situation before making its decision.

“Mr. Polanski has acknowledged his legal and moral responsibility for his misconduct in 1977. He has apologized to Samantha Geimer who has accepted his apology and appeared in court to support Mr. Polanski. We are not here contesting the merits of the expulsion decision, but rather your organization’s blatant disregard for its own Standards of Conduct in, as well as its violation of the standards required by California Corporations Code, Section 7341.”