Artist star under fire for sexist poster

2012-02-03 12:58

Paris -The French actor tipped to win an Oscar for his role in The Artist was under fire at home on Thursday for a poster showing him holding a woman's legs in the air under the line "I'm going into a meeting".

France's advertising regulator ARPP requested that the film posters of Jean Dujardin - for the film Les Infideles (The Players) - be removed from billboards in Paris because they depicted women as sexual objects.

The ARPP said it received four complaints from the public offended by the ads, another of which shows co-star Gilles Lellouche and a woman who appears to be performing oral sex on him.

The poster showed Dujardin, who is in the running for best actor Oscar this month for his star role in The Artist, a silent black and white movie, holding the bare legs of a woman, his head between her high-heeled feet.

Women as objects

The posters, which went on display on Monday, will be removed on Friday, said the ARPP head Stephane Martin, who added that they "propagate an image of women that damages her dignity".

They "present a degrading image of women, because in both cases you do not see the woman's face... This is certainly presenting an image of women as objects, in this case sexual objects," he told AFP.

The affair was creating an online buzz on Thursday in France, with L'Express magazine asking in a headline on its website: "Could the Infideles scandal damage Jean Dujardin?" in his quest for Oscar glory.

Dujardin was nominated for best actor in the black-and-white film that tells the story of silent star George Valentin whose career is torpedoed by the arrival of the talkies.

It also won nine more Oscar nominations, just behind the 11 scooped by Martin Scorsese's lavish 3D adventure Hugo, and has turned the French actor into the current darling of Hollywood.