Diane Kruger and Vanessa Paradis lead Cesar Awards' #NowWeAct ribbon campaign

White ribbons will be offered to all guests to show their support for the anti-violence against women crusade.

Actresses Diane Kruger and Vanessa Paradis are among a host of European stars who have thrown their support behind a new women's rights initiative launching at the 2018 Cesar Awards.

Guests attending France's version of the Oscars in Paris on Friday (02Mar18) have been invited to wear white ribbons as part of the #NowWeAct campaign to combat violence against women.

The initiative, which comes on the heels of the #MeToo and Time's Up anti-sexual misconduct movements in Hollywood, is the brainchild of officials at the French Academy and activists at the Foundation for Women non-profit to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence efforts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The news was announced on Wednesday (28Feb18), when French Academy bosses cited the downfall of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein last year (17) as the catalyst for the #NowWeAct campaign, which serves as the "denunciation of machismo and violence against women", adding, "Actresses today are demanding action."

"Many actors and actresses, producers and directors want to start a constructive, positive and concrete initiative in France to support women victims of violence," Academy executives share in a statement.

The ribbons will be offered to Cesar Awards attendees as a "simple and silent way to express solidarity" in the fight for equality, just like the red carpet fashion black outs at the Golden Globes in January (18) and the BAFTAs in London earlier this month (Feb18).

An open letter of support, signed by the likes of Kruger and Johnny Depp's ex Paradis, in addition to fellow actresses Clemence Poesy, Julie Gayet, Adele Haenel, Tonie Marshall, Celine Salette, and Soko, has also been published in French newspaper Liberation, praising the stars who have gone public with their experiences of sexual misconduct for "piercing the wall of silence" after Weinstein was outed as an alleged sexual predator in exposes in the New York Times and the New Yorker in October (17).

"They paved the way," the note reads. "Millions of women around the world have echoed them... We are convinced that tomorrow should not look like yesterday."

It concludes, "Now we act. Together, let's support those who work concretely so that no one ever has to say #MeToo again."

Filmmakers including Rebecca Zlotowski, Houda Benyamina, Celine Sciamma, Julia Ducournau, and Michel Hazanavicius have also pledged their backing to the campaign, while Rose McGowan, who was one of the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, features on the Foundation for Women's website alongside the #NowWeAct initiative's hashtag, which in French reads: "#MaintenantOnAgit".

The campaign emerges weeks after 100 French women, including Oscar nominee Catherine Deneuve, signed a controversial open letter denouncing the #MeToo movement, which was published in newspaper Le Monde in January (18).

"Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or back-handedly, is not," the post read. "Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss."

Catherine defended her position by clarifying that she is opposed to the "lynching" of men, but later issued an apology to the victims of sexual misconduct.

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