French Feminist Advocacy Organization 50/50 Unveils Temporary Leadership Post-Scandal

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The French feminist and advocacy org 50/50, which was hit by a sexual assault scandal and the resignation of its entire administration board in April, has unveiled a new temporary leadership.

For the next six months, the org will be overseen by Séraphine Angoula, Clémentine Charlemaine and Margaux Lorier, while Laura Pertuy and Lahoucine Grimich will be co-managing secretaries, and Johanna Makabi and Raphaël Gribe Marquis will be in charge of finances.

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The temporary leadership was elected on July 7 by the new administration board which was itself voted on by members of 50/50 a month ago.

In a press release sent to all members, the org said it will pursue its core missions: “improving the representation of minorities on screen, eliminating the salary gaps and inequalities in accessing employment, and fighting against all kinds of violence and discrimination in the film and TV industries.”

The org also said it deemed “unthinkable the fact that the president of the National Film Board (CNC), Dominique Boutonnat, who has been indicted for sexual assault and attempted rape, could be re-appointed as CNC president.”

Boutonnat’s three-year term at the helm of the CNC is ending at the end of the month and rumors have been swirling that he could return for a second mandate is spite of the fact that he’s been under formal investigation for over a year for an alleged sexual assault of his 22-year-old godson. Following a 14-month investigation, the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office recently requested that Boutonnat’s case is brought before a criminal court.

In France, the CNC president is named by the government and Boutonnat, who is known to be well connected to the country’s President Emmanuel Macron, has been allowed to stay in post in spite of his legal turmoil.

The org 50/50 said that it “trusted France’s new culture minister Rima Abdul-Malak (who succeeded to Roselyne Bachelot in May) to propose another candidate to the President.”

The new administration board includes Angoula, Charlemaine, Flavia Cordey, Quentin Deleau Latournerie, Raphaël Gribe Marquis, Khir-Din Grid, Lahoucine Grimich, Sophie Lainé Diodovic, Lorier, Johanna Makabi, Sabine Pakora, Laura Pertuy, Mathieu Robinet and Olivier Saby.

The org was rocked by a sexual assault complaint against one of the org’s core members in April. Following the complaint, the accused was taken into custody and preliminary investigation was conducted by the Paris prosecutor’s office. A judge has set a Sept. 14 hearing date before the criminal court.

The French organization’s shakeup mirrored that of Time’s Up in the U.S., which laid off most of its staff after controversy over its involvement in the Andrew Cuomo sexual assault charges.

Formerly named 5050 for 2020, the advocacy group was created when the #MeToo movement took shape in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. It was a driving force behind the gender parity pledge signed by the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, and most other major international film festivals around the world.

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