The members of the Angouleme grand jury, who chose the winners of this year's awards, have released a statement saying they are "stupefied by the cruelty and vulgarity" of the fake prizes presented Saturday during the festival's closing ceremony.
"The announcement of fake awards, which broke the hearts of numerous authors, publishers and readers, in addition to the sexist and off-color remarks of the MC, are beneath the dignity of a festival that remains an internationally respected flagship event in the world of comics," said the statement, signed by all seven members of the grand jury.
In a routine that no one had been warned was a joke, emcee Richard Gaitet presented all nine official prizes, and then announced the judges had decided to award a second Grand Prix to "the biggest author in the profession — in terms of size," Dorothée de Monfreid, who's more than 6 feet tall. Two women then took the stage and announced it was all a hoax, after which the real awards were given — most of them to different creators.
The "gag" drew sharp criticism online from publishers and creators, leading Gaitet to apologize. However, the organizers of the Angouleme International Comics Festival defended Gaitet's routine, saying he'd been tasked with "bringing freedom, impertinence, and humor [to the ceremony], in keeping with the independent spirit of most comics creators.”
The English translation of the grand jury's full statement can be found below.
We, the members of the Grand Jury for this year’s Angoulême International Comics Festival, had an amiable meeting during which we chose the winners of the “fauves” in perfect harmony. We were surprised to be left out of the awards ceremony and then alarmed to hear the MC, whom we’ve never met, claim that we’d gone through contentious deliberations. By the end we were stupefied by the cruelty and vulgarity of the ceremony as a whole. The announcement of fake awards, which broke the hearts of numerous authors, publishers, and readers, in addition to the sexist and off-color remarks of the MC are beneath the dignity of a festival that remains an internationally respected flagship event in the world of comics. We are happy to have had the chance to make a contribution by awarding radical, unique works that will mark the history of the Ninth Art.
Antonin BaudryLaurent BinetNicole BrenezPhilippe CollinVéronique GiugeHaméMatt Madden
(via Matt Madden)