Entertainment News

Catherine Deneuve and 99 other women write open letter criticising #MeToo movement

They have attacked the “witch hunt” that has been initiated against men following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

A collective of 100 actresses, female academics and writers have signed an open letter in the French newspaper Le Monde (translated in parts and published by The Guardian) denouncing the “witch hunt” that has begun against men in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The letter states that the sexual freedom of men is under threat and has attacked social media campaigns such as the #MeToo movement and its French version #BalanceTonPorc (Call Out Your Pig) for bringing about a “puritanical wave of purification.”

The signatories include, among others, French actress Catherine Deneuve best known for playing self-possessed, elusive women in films directed by Luis Bunuel, Francois Truffaut and Roman Polanski. Deneuve has earlier spoken against the “Me Too” movement stating that the call to round up “pigs” is akin to religious extremism and would attract the worst reactionaries.

“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not – nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” the open letter said.

The letter pointed out the fate of men who just wanted to steal a kiss or touch someone’s knee, and in return, were fired from their jobs.

The letter also argued that men have been demonised for discussing intimate subject matter during professional dinners and sending “sexually charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.”

The letter continued to say that women are “sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.”

Deneuve’s stance against the “Me Too” movement which has raised a storm in the West, across the entertainment industry in particular, has invited criticism on Twitter. Actress Asia Argento, one of the prime accusers of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, shared the letter on Twitter saying that the signatories’ “interiorised misogyny has lobotimised them to the point of no return.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.