February 28, 2020 / 6:17 PM / a month ago

Anti-Polanski protesters clash with police outside movie awards

Feminist groups hold letters to form a banner where it reads ''French cinema, where are you?'', as they attend a protest against film director Roman Polanski near the venue for the Cesar Awards ceremony in Paris, France, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French Police on Friday pushed back protesters who pulled down a safety barrier outside the Paris theatre hosting the 2020 Cesar Awards, where a movie by director Roman Polanski, who faces rape accusations, is up for a dozen nominations.

The protesters did not make it onto the red carpet.

Nearby, other protesters waved placards reading “Shame on an industry that protects rapists.”

The veteran French-Polish director fled the United States in the late 1970s after admitting raping a 13-year-old girl and faces more recent allegations of sexual assault. He denies the accusations against him.

Polanski’s movie An Officer and a Spy, is up for best film and best director, among other categories, at France’s equivalent of the Oscars. Polanski will not attend the ceremony, saying he fears a “public lynching”.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Johnny Cotton; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Christian Lowe

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