Austrian film-maker says that movement against sexual assault has prompted a ‘crusade against any form of eroticism’ that belongs in Middle Ages
Michael Haneke has become the latest figure to criticise the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment in the film industry, arguing that it has instigated a “witch hunt” that “should be left in the Middle Ages”.
The Austrian film-maker, two-time winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, made his concerns known during an interview with Austrian newspaper Kurier, later reported by Deadline. “This new puritanism coloured by a hatred of men, arriving on the heels of the #MeToo movement, worries me,” he said. “As artists, we’re starting to be fearful since we’re faced with this crusade against any form of eroticism.”
It’s understandable that intergenerational battles over feminism come down to the meaning of consent
It was the journalist Julia Baird who wrote on Twitter: “YOUNG FEMINISTS: What do you think older feminists don’t understand or get exactly right, or just might miss about #metoo, if anything? Am curious to hear.”
Baird’s question appears in the context of high-profile disagreements about #MeToo between some young and older feminists. A few weeks ago, French actor Catherine Deneuve and 100 co-signatories of a letter claimed #MeToo was fostering a “new Puritanism” – a position from which she has since somewhat backed away. Since then, a widely-reported interview with Germaine Greer has appeared, in which the Australian feminist accused the #MeToo movement of “whingeing”.
The former screen siren’s thoughts on harassment in Hollywood are of no interest to anyone
There can’t be many famous people left who are yet to offer their opinion on #MeToo, so it was only a matter of time before we discovered what former screen siren Brigitte Bardot makes of it all.
In a new interview with Paris Match, the 83-year-old was asked what she thinks about the movement. She replied that many actresses flirt with producers to get roles and the vast majority of harassment claims are “hypocritical, ridiculous and without interest”.
Catherine Deneuve joined 99 other prominent French women in a letter last week accusing the Hollywood anti-abuse campaign of censorship and intolerance. Agnès Poirier explains how the debate is viewed in Paris
French women made headlines all over the world last week. And not because they never get fat or their children never throw food, as a series of American bestsellers put it, but because 100 of them signed an open letter published in Le Monde offering an alternative view of the #MeToo campaign and drawing attention to what they regard as rampant censorship in feminist ranks. In signing the letter, the French film star Catherine Deneuve set the feminist world ablaze.
They spoke their mind in a Gallic manner: straightforwardly, to the point of appearing blunt. The letter was also strikingly badly edited, with clumsy chunks unworthy of their authors. But, in short, they think the campaign by the #MeToo movement to tackle sexual harassment represents a “puritanical … wave of purification”; that “rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cackhandedly, is not, nor is being gentlemanly a macho attack”.