Roman Polanski says the birth control pill has had a "masculinizing" effect on women and that the leveling of the sexes is "idiotic"
The director made the comments Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival, where he came to premiere "Venus in Fur," a film adapted from the David Ives play which stars Polanski's wife and toys with the subject of gender.
Polanski said the pill has "changed the place of women in our times" while talking to reporters. He further lamented that "offering flowers to a lady" has become "indecent."
The 79-year-old Polanski was famously convicted of having sex with a minor in a 1977 case. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Polanski, whose past films include "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby," fled the United States after a Los Angeles judge threatened further sanctions.
He's restricted by an Interpol warrant in effect in 188 countries, but he moves freely between Switzerland and France. He was freed from Swiss house arrest in 2010 after the government refused to deport him to the United States.
Polanski's new film stars his wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Mathieu Amalric as an actress and theater director rehearsing an adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 1870 novella, "Venus in Furs." The film features Seigner as a strong, feminine actress who comes to dominate her director.
"Venus in Fur" is in competition for the Palme d'Or, Cannes' top honor, which is to be announced Sunday.