French actress Corinne Masiero stripped naked on stage during a scaled-back Cesar Awards ceremony in Paris, to protest the French government’s months-long closure of theatres and cinemas, AFP reported.
Theatres and cinemas have been closed down across the country due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The actress had “no culture no future” written on her chest and “give us art back Jean” on her back, in a message to Prime Minister Jean Castex.
Masiero was on stage to present the award for best costume, wearing a donkey outfit and a blood-stained dress before she stripped before the audience.
France’s answer to the Oscars, the ceremony is in normal times the biggest night on the country’s cinema calendar. On Friday, however, there were no flashbulbs on the red carpet, and no partners on the arms of award nominees.
The ceremony took place at a theatre as anger and frustration grew amongst actors, musicians, and artists at the government’s unwillingness to set a date for the reopening of museums, galleries, concert halls, and film houses.
Marina Fois, one of France’s best known comedians, took aim at the government’s months-long closure of theatres and cinemas during the coronavirus pandemic in a searing speech to open the ceremony.
Fois, who hosted the night, took a swipe at Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot for finding time to write a book during the COVID-19 crisis, and said, “I’m losing confidence in you.”
Nor did she hold back from attacking the French government’s broader strategy to counter the COVID-19 crisis, as cases in the country topped 4 million.
“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 old people could go to church,” she said.
Across the capital, several dozen protesters were occupying the Odeon Theatre for an eighth night, demanding cultural venues be reopened and more financial support be given.