It did come as a major surprise to many when director Roman Polanski's recent film, An Officer & a Spy was not only allowed to release but also did good numbers at the French box office. However, in a turn of events, according to The Hollywood Reporter, France's ARP, the country's guild for directors, writers and producers, has proposed new rules for members under investigation or convicted of sexual crimes, which would lead to the suspension of Roman Polanski.
The director has been a fugitive from justice in the U.S. for decades and faces a fresh probe following an explosive accusation from actress Valentine Monnier that Polanski raped her in 1975.
The ARP board's new rules would “suspend any member facing legal charges, and expel any member convicted, especially for crimes of a sexual nature,” said president Pierre Jolivet. Jolivet added that the new rules "would affect Roman Polanski, whose judicial case is still open in the United States and for which he has been charged."
He added: "Forty years have passed between the first case involving Roman Polanski and today. I think the world has changed a lot in 40 years. The crimes are the same, but the way they are perceived has changed enormously. You can put your head in a hole and tell yourself the world has not changed. It has changed, it is taken into account, and it is the result of this decision."
Polanski pled guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old-girl in 1977 as part of a plea bargain to avoid more serious charges and served 42 days in jail. He fled the U.S. before his final sentencing and remains a fugitive.
Calls to boycott his latest film, An Officer and a Spy, did not stop Polanski from topping the French box office over the weekend, selling over 386,000 tickets across 545 screens. “Without the polemic, the movie might have been closer to half a million admissions,” said Comscore analyst Eric Marti. "Despite the protests, the movie will be by far the highest success of Polanski in the past 10 years."