Roman Polanski was slated to give a speech and pick up an award earlier this week at his old university, however, the lecture was canceled on Saturday after a crowd of university employees and students started an online campaign on social media, demanding the cancelation of the event.
According to a new report from Variety, the petition was successful in getting Roman not to appear at the institution. In the petition, the statement read that the university would stand up against sexual violence.
The petition noted that Mr. Polanski had been accused of sexual misconduct on a number of occasions. Followers of the case know Mr. Polanski fled from the United States in 1978 shortly before he was up for sentencing on statutory rape charges, for which he was convicted.
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Following his graduation from the school in 1959, Mr. Polanski was subsequently awarded an honorary doctorate. After Polanski’s canceled appearence, a protest continued as well as young people all over campus accused him of being a “rapist” and “not a star.”
Reportedly, a group of demonstrators held up signs accusing Roman of being a rapist, and they confronted another group before police finally got involved and ended it. Mariusz Grzegorzek, the school’s rector, released a statement arguing against the banning of Polanski from the campus.
Mariusz described him as a “great artist of cinema,” adding that Roman has expressed much respect and gratitude for what he learned at the school. Grzegorzek contined by stating they were not responsible for issuing verdicts regarding past allegations.
As it was previously reported, Polanski found himself at the center of additional controversy earlier this year when a French actress, Valentine Monnier, accused him of sexually assaulting her back in 1975 at a Swizterland chalet. She was 18 at the time.
Since the reports first came out, Polanski has denied them vehemently and also threatened a lawsuit against her as well as the newspaper that published the story. The publication of Monnier’s allegations in Europe led to the cancelation of several press engagements for his latest movie.