The Harvey Weinstein scandal has not gone unnoticed abroad, with French President Emmanuel Macron announcing that he has taken steps to strip the Hollywood producer of his prestigious national Legion of Honor award. Weinstein’s actions “lack honor,” Macron explained in an interview on French TV.
The news comes a day after British actress Lysette Anthony accused Weinstein of raping her in his home in the 1980s. Anthony spoke out in the wake of sexual harassment and assault complaints by dozens of American actresses first recounted in the The New York Times and The New Yorker. Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into five complaints of sexual assault against Weinstein by three British women, The Independent has reported.
Weinstein was presented with the Legion of Honor — France’s highest award for merit — in 2012 by then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy after his French film “The Artist” won five Oscars. Weinstein was honored for his contribution to cinema.
“I have begun steps to withdraw the Legion d’Honneur,” Macron said in an interview on TF1. “Since these acts lack honor, we [should consider] all consequences.” Macron said he has asked the chair of the National Order of Merit “to examine quickly this case and launch a disciplinary procedure” against Weinstein. The final decision will be up to the Order of Merit.
The Order of Merit’s grand chancellor’s office explained in a statement to Variety that the organization typically waits for a “final condemnation” before rescinding an award or instituting any kind of disciplinary action. But action could be taken more quickly for a breach of honor, Macron indicated.
There was no immediate response from Weinstein, but his spokesman has said that all sexual encounters were consensual.
The Weinstein scandal has also triggered an angry tweetstorm among French women who have launched the hashtag #balancetonporc: “get even with” or “squeal on your pig,” in order to expose men they accuse of sexual harassment or assault.