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Roman Polanski calls #MeToo movement 'collective hysteria'

The Oscar-winning filmmaker said everyone is trying to sign up to #MeToo "chiefly out of fear."

Roman Polanski in Zurich, Switzerland, on Oct. 2,

Roman Polanski in Zurich, Switzerland, on Oct. 2, 2017.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andreas Rentz

WARSAW, Poland — Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski says the #MeToo movement that sheds light on sexual misconduct of powerful men in Hollywood is “collective hysteria” and “total hypocrisy.”

Polanski, 84, made the comment to Newsweek Polska in an interview given just days before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stripped him of his nearly 50-year membership, citing a case in 1977 in which he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. The interview was published this week.

He said everyone is trying to sign up to #MeToo “chiefly out of fear” and compared it to North Korea’s public mourning for its leaders that is so intensive that “you can’t stop laughing.” He did not explain further.

“To me, this is total hypocrisy,” Polanski said without explaining further.

The Paris-born Holocaust survivor won an Academy Award for directing “The Pianist” in 2003.

Polanski was in Poland last week promoting his latest movie, “Based on a True Story,” at a film festival in Krakow, where he grew up.

He remains a fugitive after fleeing the United States in 1978 over the statutory rape case involving a 13-year-old girl.

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