Learn French With News #8: THE GÉRARD DEPARDIEU CASE (+ subtitles)

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Learn French With News #8: THE GÉRARD DEPARDIEU CASE (+ subtitles)

The Gérard Depardieu affair is the subject of much controversy in France at the moment.

The famous French actor, who you may have seen in Cyrano, La Chèvre and Asterix and Obelix, has been accused of rape and sexual assault.

In recent weeks, the case has seen a number of twists and turns.

Let me explain. Welcome to another episode of "Learn French with News" on TV, radio and in the press.

The Gérard Depardieu affair is really the talk of the town in France at the moment, and you may even have heard about it at home too.

Gérard Depardieu is probably the best-known French actor abroad. Today, I'm offering you the chance to practice your French and learn some vocabulary with this news item.

As usual, you can download a free vocabulary sheet for this video.

Just click on the link in the description.

As I was saying, Gérard Depardieu is one of the French actors who is probably best known abroad.

He is now 74 years old.

He plays in a lot of films.

I'm sure you've seen at least one.

In 2020, actor Gérard Depardieu will be indicted for sexual assault and rape of an actress.

This actress denounces two rapes that allegedly took place at the actor's home.

In the spring of 2023, a few months ago, we learned that twelve other women had also accused him of sexual assault.

Later, another woman also filed a complaint against the actor for rape.

Today, he is under investigation.

So he has two complaints against him for rape, and is therefore accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.

But he denies the facts. So he says it's not true.

In October 2023, he wrote an open letter in the newspaper Le Figaro to express his version of events.

In this letter, Gérard Depardieu asserts that he is neither a rapist nor a predator.

He says "I have never, ever abused a woman".

Abuse is a synonym for rape.

"Jamais au grand jamais" is an expression in French to really emphasize the fact that it's impossible.

It's stronger than ever, it's never, ever, ever.

In the description, you can find all the sources that helped me make this video and also a link to this letter Gérard Depardieu wrote in December.

Gérard Depardieu will be back in the news with the broadcast of an investigative report on France 2.

The report is broadcast as part of the program Complément d'enquête.

So on December 7, a report was broadcast on a national channel.

The documentary is called Gérard Depardieu : la chute de l'ogre.

A fall is when someone falls.

In fiction, an ogre is an evil character who feeds on the flesh of children.

But from a literary point of view, it's mostly a term that's qualified to talk about someone who's mean.

As part of this report, very shocking images with very shocking words dating back to 2018 will be broadcast.

These images come from a trip he made to North Korea with Yann Moix.

Yann Moix is a French director and writer.

Perhaps you've seen the film Podium. He directed it.

In these images, we see the actor making highly inappropriate, obscene and, one might even say, sexist insults towards his interpreter, his translator and a lady accompanying him to translate.

But he also makes this kind of comment to a little girl, about ten years old, whom he sexualizes.

In particular, he sexualizes this child who is riding a horse.

Once again, I've included a link to the full report in the description. You can watch these video extracts.

But here I don't want to repeat what was said, and I simply can't do it because the video might be removed from YouTube.

It was following the broadcast of this report that the controversy surrounding Gérard Depardieu really exploded, gaining momentum on social networks, but also following the words of various personalities.

French President Emmanuel Macron's speech was one of the most talked-about and controversial.

Indeed, on December 20, on a TV set, he defended Gérard Depardieu, notably on the specific subject of the Legion of Honor.

In 1996, actor Gérard Depardieu was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

It's an honorary title. It was a previous president who gave him this title.

You can be awarded the Légion d'honneur for extraordinary deeds or for promoting France around the world, for example.

Two years later, in 1998, he almost lost the Légion d'honneur for drink-driving.

It's driving while intoxicated, so it's when you're driving a car while you've been drinking alcohol, when you're over the legal limit.

Why is he talking about and defending Gérard Depardieu on the Légion d'honneur?

This is because, following the broadcast of the report in which he is seen making really inappropriate remarks, particularly towards this little girl, the current French Minister of Culture is going to say that an inquiry will be launched, a disciplinary inquiry to possibly withdraw Gérard Depardieu's Legion of Honor.

For Emmanuel Macron, his minister has gone too far.

And it's out of the question, so it won't be the case, that Gérard Depardieu loses his Légion d'honneur because of this.

So, in this interview, Emmanuel Macron is going to talk about manhunting, among other things.

In his opinion, this means that Gérard Depardieu is being targeted. He also said, "Depardieu has made France, our great authors, our great characters known the world over. He makes France proud.

The journalist is going to ask him some questions, particularly about the comments made in the video, which dates back to 2018. He's going to say that sometimes people get carried away by what they say. I'm wary of context. I understood that there were polemics about words that were out of sync with the images.

So Emmanuel Macron is implying that the images could be taken out of context or that they could be manipulated, not that they aren't necessarily real.

So in the face of controversy over the veracity of these images, and therefore the reality of the images, and in the face of accusations of fake news, France 2 is going to give these images to a bailiff. A bailiff is a person who is sworn in by the State to draw up a report.

He established this after viewing the images, which date from 2018 and were shot in North Korea.

And the conclusion is that he has attested to the reality and veracity of these images.

The bailiff is said to have authenticated these images.

François Hollande, the previous President of France, will also be speaking in an interview.

And he disapproves of Emmanuel Macron's defense of Gérard Depardieu.

In particular, he'll be going back over Emmanuel Macron's statement that we're all proud of Gérard Depardieu.

François Hollande is going to say: no, we're not proud of Gérard Depardieu for what he said.

So in the face of the obscene comments in the video.

On December 26, the day after Christmas, a tribune defending Gérard Depardieu will be signed by around 50 artists and 56 personalities from the world of culture.

The signatories include some of the best-known actors and actresses in France and abroad.

For example, there will be Carla Bruni, the former First Lady of France.

She's the wife of Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France.

It is also signed by Pierre Richard, Nathalie Baye and Victoria Abril.

In it, they say, among other things, that we shouldn't take the place of justice, that Gérard Depardieu is a monster of the cinema who is being lynched and subjected to a torrent of hatred.

So a torrent is a flow, a lot of hate.

So they write: we can no longer remain silent in the face of the lynch mob.

So, in the face of the torrent of hatred being unleashed on his person in the most complete amalgam, and in defiance of the presumption of innocence he would have enjoyed, like everyone else, if he weren't the giant of the cinema that he is.

The presumption of innocence is a legal principle in France which states that until someone is found guilty, they remain innocent.

I know this isn't the case in every country, but in France, it's up to others to prove you're guilty.

So it's up to others to prove that Gérard Depardieu is guilty, not him to prove his innocence.

That's the way it works. So it's not up to the accused to prove his innocence in France.

So these artists write this because they're very afraid of "cancel culture".

In French, the term "Cancel culture" is also often used, but not translated. But if you want to translate it, you can say "the culture of erasure".

These artists are asking that Gérard Depardieu not be erased.

So we're talking about presumption of innocence, but as you can see, what really set things off was the broadcasting of the images.

I'd like to read you an extract from the rest of this article.

When people attack Gérard Depardieu in this way, they are attacking art. Through his genius as an actor, Gérard Depardieu contributes to the artistic influence of our country.

He contributes to the history of art in the highest of ways. He is part of this history and continues to enrich it. For this, France owes him so much. Cinema and theater cannot do without his unique personality.

So here, it's a debate that comes up very often, and in this case too, it's a subject that's discussed a great deal in the media.

The question is: can or should we separate the man from the artist, or the woman from the artist?

It also works on a case-by-case basis.

The article caused quite an outcry.

So a lot of people, a lot of other artists weren't happy about it, and feminist associations in particular were outraged by it.

They rebelled.

For example, a collective that is very well known in France, called "NousToutes", took the floor and this collective declared: "It's a spit in the face of all the victims".

A spit is when you take saliva and throw it at someone, you spit. A few days later, on December 29, a counter-tribune was signed, this time by over 600 artists.

This counter-opinion obviously runs counter to the previous one, and to the comments made in defense of Gérard Depardieu.

This counter-tribune defends potential victims.

Signatures include artists such as Louane, Angèle and famous youtuber Lena Situation.

The number of counter-tribune artists grew rapidly.

A few days later, the number had risen to 2,500, and just a few days ago, to 8,000.

Some of the signatories of the first forum have also retrograded.

This means they've changed their minds.

They regretted having signed a tribune of support.

In the second article, we read: "This article and Macron's defense are spitting in the face not only of Gérard Depardieu's victims, but of all victims of sexist and sexual violence. It's the inversion of roles where the executioner, the bad guy, places himself as the victim with the help of his friends.

As always in cases of sexist and sexual violence against women, the presumption of innocence is the concept I was talking about.

The presumption of innocence for the assailant sounds like a presumption of lies for the women who testify against him.

What this means, then, is that by placing so much emphasis on the presumption of innocence, it's as if we were starting from the principle, the postulate, that a woman is necessarily lying.

Make no mistake, we too want justice to do its job.

But in the absence of listening, which means that victims are not listened to or taken seriously by police and judicial institutions, both the police and the courts.

It's impossible to pretend nothing's happened while waiting for the law to do its job.

I've also included the full text in the description if you simply want to read it in full, or take a closer look at the vocabulary.

You can even compare the two, since I've put them both here.

Today, I'm shooting this video.

Today is January 5.

That's where we are at this stage.

I hope you've gained a better understanding of the issues involved.

Why it was such a hot topic in France at the moment, and I hope you were able to learn a lot of vocabulary from it too.

Don't forget to download the vocabulary sheet.

As usual, I ask you to remain courteous and kind in the comments.

I know it's a complex subject.

If you liked this video, of course, please let me know too.

Let me know if you want more "Learn French with News" videos.

Subscribe too if you don't want to miss any, and I'll see you soon for a new video.

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