Oscar nominee and SAG best actor winner Jean Dujardin is in the midst of a tempest over salacious French posters for a new movie in which he appears.
Dujardin, who is nominated for Best Actor for "The Artist," appears in an upcoming French anthology called "Les Infideles," a sketch comedy about male infidelity from a number of directors. Dujardin directed one segment, and "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius directed another.
But the controversy has sprung up not around the movie, but around posters that went up on streets in Paris this week.
In one, Dujardin faces the camera in a suit, tie askew, holding the legs of a upside-down woman. The caption translates as "I'm going into a meeting."
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ARPP, the French authority that regulates advertising, labeled that and other posters that do not feature Dujardin as sexist and degrading to women, and ordered them taken down by the end of the week.
The French magazine Le Parisien wondered in a headline whether what it called a "scandal" could damage Dujardin's chances, while the British paper the Guardian wondered if the ads would "offend the American awards jury" (i.e., the 5,800 Oscar voters).
The prospect of the race being impacted by posters for a French release are slim, to say the least. The popular Dujardin won SAG's Lead Actor award last Sunday over George Clooney and Brad Pitt, while "The Artist" has established itself as a clear frontrunner in the race.
And the company releasing and campaigning for the film, the Weinstein Company, has no ties to the offending posters.
Still, Eddie Murphy's 2006 Best Supporting Actor candidacy was widely thought to have been damaged by posters for "Norbit" that blanketed Los Angeles streets just as Academy voters were considering his performance in "Dreamgirls."