#MeToo shuts out eroticism, director says

CANNES FRANCE- MAY 22 Director Michael Haneke attends the 'Happy End'

CANNES FRANCE- MAY 22 Director Michael Haneke attends the 'Happy End'

Oscar-winning Austrian film director Michael Haneke called it a "witch hunt" that "poisons" the social climate.

In an interview with Austrian daily Kurier published Friday, the Palm d'Or victor was asked whether he thought there had recently been a tendency to rebuild taboos, for example as a result of the #MeToo debate.

"But the hysteria of condemnations we're seeing now, pre-empting any proper judgement, I find that disgusting", he went on.

"I do not want to know how many of these charges related to incidents 20 or 30 years ago are primarily statements that have little to do with sexual assault", he added.

According to hollywoodreporter.com, Haneke said in an Austrian newspaper that "this new puritanism coloured by a hatred of men, arriving on the heels of the #MeToo movement, worries me".

He lamented that "suspected actors" are cut out of movies and series "in order to not lose any viewer numbers".

"In The Realm of the Senses by Oshima, one of the most profound films ever made on the theme of sexuality, wouldn't get made today because funding institutions wouldn't allow it, they would be in thrall to this terror", he said. "In a new Middle Ages?" he asked. "Haneke, the male chauvinist pig".

"As artists, we're starting to be fearful since we're faced with this crusade against any form of eroticism".

The director, who has made 12 feature-length films including The White Ribbon (2009), is not accused of any misconduct himself.

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