French actress Corinne Masiero stripped naked at France’s César Awards to protest against the government’s forced closure of cinemas and theatres amidst the pandemic. The 57-year-old actress also demanded more support for France’s crumbling arts industry that has been damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Masiero went on stage to present the award for best costume while wearing a donkey outfit and a blood-stained dress before she started stripping in front of her audience. The front of her naked body was written, “no culture no future” and her exposed back stated, “give us art back Jean”. These messages were directed at Prime Minister Jean Castex.
French cinemas and theatres have been closed since 30th October. This month, protestors have settled in large theatres across France to demand cultural places to reopen while following health rules. On 11th March, the French government agreed that the cultural industry is heavily impacted by the pandemic and announced an extra €20 million (RM98,214,327) to support the industry.
During the award ceremony, actors, directors, writers, musicians, and artists were clearly angry and frustrated with the government for not setting a date for the reopening of concert halls, museums, galleries, and movie houses. They demanded the government to take the initiative in protecting the entertainment industry damaged by the pandemic.
51-year-old famous comedian Marina Foïs was also furious as she took a jab at the government’s forced closure of theatres and cinemas during the opening ceremony. She also criticised the culture minister, Roselyne Bachelot, for spending time writing a book during the pandemic and was losing confidence in her.
Foïs also condemned the country’s government’s strategy to slow down the virus with the country topping 4 million cases. The female comedian also said, “They cooped up our youngsters, closed our cinemas and theatres, and banned concerts so that they could open churches because we’re a secular country so that the old people could go to church”.
Producer and director Stephane Demoustier was also enraged by the government’s forced closure of performing arts spaces. He expressed, “Without political will, we won’t be able to preserve our system, which is so virtuous. My children, who are 6 and 8, wonderful age, can go to Zara but not the cinema… it’s incomprehensible”.