(Photo: Guillaume Souvant/Getty Images)

The César Awards—France’s equivalent to the Oscars—will no longer see director Roman Polanski preside over its annual recognition of greatness in French film. Numerous groups began protesting the Césars last week, when they ignored the rape allegations that have blackened Polanski’s career for decades in order to praise him as an “insatiable aesthete” and name him chair of the 2017 Awards.

The announcement was made by Polanski’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, who said, “In order not to disturb the César ceremony, which should be centered on cinema and not on whom it chose to preside over the ceremony, Roman Polanski has decided not to accept the invitation.” Temime also fulfilled the standard obligations that come with being Roman Polanski’s lawyer, calling the sexual assault allegations that led to his permanent residency in Europe “false information” that had “deeply saddened” the Polanski family.

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The Cesars are scheduled for February 24.

[via The New York Times]