He appealed against his conviction in October 2021: a theater professor at the University of Besançon is banned from teaching and sentenced to two years in prison.
Victory as part of the # MeTooThéâtre movement: Guillaume Dujardin’s conviction was confirmed on appeal. The professor is found guilty of harassment, assault and sexual blackmail against a dozen of his students. The man receives two years in prison, plus two years suspended. All of this is accompanied by a teaching ban. This sentence confirms a first judgment rendered in October 2020.
The facts for which this professor, recognized in the community and who practiced in Besançon, was condemned are heavy. In January 2018, an investigation was opened against him after the complaint of several students. All denounced violent working methods, sessions outside of class with incitement to get naked, slap your partner, simulate rape and sexual violence. During the trial in October 2020, the prosecutor underlined the formidable hold he exerted on his students.
The hashtag # MeTooThéâtre to denounce a system that protects aggressors
In October 2021, theater critic Marie Coquille-Chambel, herself the victim of assault by an actor, launched the hashtag # MeTooThéâtre. This is to show how much misogynistic violence is recurrent in this area as well. Known violence, aggressors not or little worried. This is what this hashtag wishes to denounce. An Instagram account also compiles various testimonials of violence and underlines the specific features of theater, an area where fierce competition between talents, job insecurity and the prestige associated with it make the fight against violence difficult.
The conviction of Guillaume Dujardin is a step in the fight against sexual violence in the field of culture. “We think of the victims who had to undergo two trials”, recalls Julie Menard, author, director, actress and member of the # MeTooThéâtre collective, in aufeminin. “What we can congratulate ourselves on is the strength of the symbol: today it is forbidden to exercise, it will no longer be able to use our art as a trap”, she specifies. Julie Menard also underlines the responsibilities shared by all actors in the world of theater. Guillaume Dujardin was indeed known for his actions. “We let it happen, ignoring all these rumors, we also left him at the head of a festival, which gives immense power”, denounces the artist. Because the problem is also there: in the small medium of the theater, the power is concentrated in the hands of few. It can then be easy for malicious people to abuse it. “The victims had to unite their voices to be heard”, deplores Julie Menard. Now, the victims are united to be heard.