This Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Clovis Cornillac can be seen in the France 2 TV movie “After the silence”. Actor and director, he knows very well how the seventh art works. However, when the Harvey Weinstein affair broke out and drastically affected our Western societies, Clovis Cornillac did not hide his astonishment. And for a very specific reason.
In October 2017, the prestigious New York Times throws a stone in the pond by exposing the exploits of Harvey Weinstein, a real-life sex offender who has made dozens of victims, known or not. If a large part of public opinion is then under the shock of these revelations, many actors in the medium are by no means surprised by the attitude of the Hollywood producer. Gradually the shadow of a macabre open secret begins to appear. Has Harvey Weinstein used his omnipotence to enforce a real omerta? Five years later, even in France, this opaque system still raises questions. Clovis Cornillac, who is very active in the fight against sexism, was one of the first to speak out on the subject without pretext.
Video. Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial is nearing completion
“Everybody Knew It”
“Everyone knew it was everywhere. Everyone knew it,” Clovis Cornillac said on the 2018 show Le Grand Oral des Grandes Gueules. Accustomed to the Cannes Film Festival, the French actor declared what everyone has been repeating over and over again: “Harvey Weinstein was the master of Cannes as a producer.” During this prestigious event, the man went rough and sexually assaulted several women on the sidelines of the competition, including Asia Argento. But for Clovis Cornillac, even though “everyone” knew of the consensual sexual practices of some and some members of the community like those famous “orgies” hence, it was very difficult to guess at the abuses that lurked there: “The number of people who doing stuff like that, getting paid, orgies, etc. If you’re not part of it, you don’t know there’s abuse behind it. Honestly, no actress ever told me. I’ve never experienced that in my life. nor with people in France if I know it exists.
Still shaken by the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Clovis Cornillac assured him, “If I had lived to see that, I couldn’t imagine saying, ‘Oh no, it’s Weinstein, it doesn’t matter.'” And that, even if he already knew the imposing stature of the producer well: “We’re talking about a citizen here! It’s a shame. How do you live afterwards when you watch someone do this to a woman?! My problem, the cinema hasn’t been for a long time more.” Time. You just tell yourself he’s sick.” In 2017, it was American screenwriter Scott Rosenberg who gave much the same speech as Clovis Cornillac in a lengthy post published on Facebook. “We need to talk about Harvey. Everybody knew, damn it. I know, I was there. but we all knew there was something vile, something foul, his appetite, his gluttony, like a gluttonous ogre. […] I’m sorry and ashamed. Because in the end I was an accomplice. I did not say anything. I did nothing,” he wrote.
As for the other French actors, Jean Dujardin, who claimed to have discovered it “at the same time as everyone else, disgusted,” had meanwhile described a “very bestial” Harvey Weintein: “I knew the lender, less the predator, say.” Let’s see’ I saw a violent man in his words, but I only knew that man. After that I could actually see him quite tactilely. But from there imagining this man asking the actresses to have a massage in his hotel room, that is not it.” . That’s pretty much what’s happening to him. He’s a war machine, he’s totally dehumanized, so I think that was part of everything else. He is very tough, very animal.
Clovis Cornillac and his reticence at #BalanceTonPorc
In the wake of the Weinstein affair, many movements were launched. In the US, the #MeToo hashtag has freed women’s voices. In France, they joined forces under the #BalanceTonPorc banner. But the welcome wasn’t as warm as on the other side of the Atlantic. Clovis Cornillac also had reservations about the Grandes Gueules set: “What I like is that the word comes out. It seems important to me. The worry it can cause afterwards is that tomorrow, for example, someone can say about me, “He put his hand on my buttocks.” So how do we do that? Do we think it’s collateral damage? angry, hurt. I don’t know how we’re going to react to that. I’m not on social media. I don’t deal with that.”
And again, other French stars like him had expressed their doubts about the hashtag. Like Catherine Deneuve and her controversial column in Le Monde on the “freedom of effort”. But for Clovis Cornillac, welcoming speeches is still important: “What I would like is that there is a place that isn’t necessarily exposed to the media, where women are heard, where they can make a complaint. In the police stations we know very well there are so many things to do I think we need a police station that is committed to that where you can really go where the guys are investigating and that’s after it comes out in the media In 2016, the actor and director took part in and sponsored the anti-sexism campaign launched by Laurence Rossignol, then Minister for Women’s Rights.
Video. 5 facts about Clovis Cornillac
And his speech was still as sharp as in Le Parisien: “The surprising thing is that we have to commit, it seems crazy to still have to stand up against sexism that we are in our time. It’s obvious to me that men and women are equal. I feel like everyone should be thinking the same thing on this point, I find it hard to understand that that’s not the case.” Clovis Cornillac was raised in part by his grandmother, as his mother, actress Myriam Boyer, was filming, and was brought up with this basic respect for women: “I, having grown up surrounded by women, said to everything as soon as they contacted me. If something like that changes, I’ll intervene. Makes bad jokes, I’m sure I like everyone else, I’m far from perfect. But deep down I am convinced of this equality. And to question that idea is terrible… It’s written into the culture of our societies, something that’s unconsciously imparted through education: women have been put in one place for centuries… It’s time for that to change.”
>> Weinstein case: The producer sentenced to 23 years in prison
>> “My wife had trouble kissing me for 6 months”: Clovis Cornillac and his shock metamorphosis in Belle and Sébastien 3
>> Rape, sexual assault: the stars speak