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France’s war on woke, from the salons to the cinemas – POLITICO

France’s war on woke, from the salons to the cinemas – POLITICO
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“Big business is playing with [wokeism], giving symbolic advantages to minorities, installing unisex toilets so trans people don’t feel discriminated against,” said Couturier, the leftist anti-woker. But “behind identity politics, the reality is that salaries aren’t going up.”

France is, after all, a country where Woody Allen, the film director accused by his adopted daughter of sex abuse, is still making movies; where Roman Polanski, who was convicted of statutory rape, gets film awards; and where Johnny Depp made his first film with a female film director after winning his defamation case against Amber Heard.

France “simply respects justice much more,” said Heinich, the sociologist. “Polanski is not facing charges here, unlike the U.S. The case is very old, and his victim has requested that the lawsuits stop. And Woody Allen has been totally cleared. So enough is enough.” 

Protestors march away from Place de la République in Paris | Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

In France, the #MeToo movement was met with ambivalence, with the film star Catherine Deneuve defending “the right to seduce” and “the freedom to bother” women as part of sexual freedom in France. While some women have spoken out against abusive directors or actors, recent allegations of sexual misconduct against France’s best-known actor Gérard Depardieu have devolved into a brawl, with rival factions lining up on either side.

When it comes to race and religion, the left can sometimes be less concerned with intolerance than the right to offend, most famously embodied in the weekly Charlie Hebdo magazine. In 2015, Islamist gunmen incensed by lewd cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad attacked its offices, killing 12 people and sparking an outcry of support under the slogan “Je suis Charlie.

“It is mostly the left that is very resistant to racial questions in France,” said Rokhaya Diallo, a commentator and anti-racist activist. “Universalism was first and foremost a value of the left, and then it was adopted by the right.”





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