Powerful men fall, one after another, in France's delayed #MeToo

Last month, Pierre Ménès, one of France’s most famous television sports journalists, was suspended indefinitely by his employer after the release of a documentary that exposed sexism in sports journalism, “I’m Not a Slut, I’m a Journalist.”

Just a few years ago, few criticized him for behavior that they now don’t dare defend in public, including forcibly kissing women on the mouth on television and, in front of a studio audience in 2016, lifting the skirt of a female journalist — Marie Portolano, the producer of the documentary.

“The world’s changed, it’s #MeToo, you can’t do anything anymore, you can’t say anything anymore,” Mr. Ménès said in a television interview after the documentary’s release. He said he didn’t remember the skirt incident, adding that he hadn’t been feeling like himself at the time because of a physical illness.

The list of other powerful men is long and getting longer. There is Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, France’s most famous news anchor, who is being investigated for rape of a young woman and who defended himself on television by saying that he belonged to a generation for whom “seduction was important” and included “kisses on the neck.” He has denied the rape accusations.