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Brussels revokes honour for Gerard Depardieu following offensive statements

08:39 21/12/2023

The City of Brussels has withdrawn the medal of honour it previously awarded to French actor Gérard Depardieu in 2018, after he was criticised for making misogynistic and offensive statements.

Depardieu is known for films such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Jean de Florette, Life of Pi and The Man in the Iron Mask, and was given the award in recognition of his film career.

In a documentary made by France 2, Depardieu was recorded making several obscene and offensive remarks towards women, leading to international outrage.

Brussels is not the only authority revoking previous awards. Depardieu has also been stripped of the honorary citizenship of the Walloon municipality of Estaimpuis and removed from the Ordre National du Québec. A wax statue of him was also removed from the Musée Grevin in Paris.

“The title of honorary citizen granted by the municipal council on 19 August 2013 to Gérard Depardieu was awarded in recognition of his fabulous career as an actor,” the mayor of Estaimpuis said.

"However, the comments he made on the TV programme 'Complément d'enquête' run counter to the values promoted by the Estaimpuis local authority.

"As such, the municipal council, meeting under the chairmanship of Daniel Senesael, has decided to withdraw this title from him with immediate effect."

Brussels awards the medal of honour to people who underline the city's values and standards, including foreign artists. Depardieu received it in 2018 when he came to Brussels for the Brussels International Film Festival (BRIFF).

Depardieu has also been under investigation since 2020 following multiple accusations of rape.

The accusations began when an actress filed a complaint against him, followed by 13 more women this year.

Depardieu wrote an open letter in Le Figaro in October denying the allegations.

“Never, never have I abused a woman,” he wrote. “Hurting a woman would be like kicking my own mother in the stomach.”

Photo: Siebbi/licensed under Creative Commons

Written by Helen Lyons