French musician Bertrand Cantat has cancelled his planned performance at an annual music festival following widespread uproar.
Papillons de Nuit, an annual music festival that takes place in Saint-Laurent-de-Cuves in northern France, fended off heavy criticism having booked Cantat, a convicted killer.
Cantat, the former lead singer of Noir Desir, served four years of an eight-year prison sentence after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend Marie Trintignant in 2003. The incident occurred while the band were on tour. Talented actress Ms Trintignant is said to have been found in a Lithuanian hotel room having suffered severe brain damage after Cantat beat her during a fight.
The singer, who was released on parole in 2010 after serving half of his sentence, is now facing an online petition from fans of the festival requesting his removal from the line-up. The petition has reached over 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
Now, Cantat has told Agence France-Presse that he has removed himself from the festival in order “to bring an end to this controversy and end pressure on organisers”. That said, Cantat still plans to play upcoming headline tour dates.
The petition has hit the festival hard, saying: “By inviting Bertrand Cantat, you condone domestic violence and violence against women,” it read.
“Children, teenagers, men and women will participate in your festival: more than 70,000 people will be present. Young people who will grow up with the idea that, men who will leave your festival with the idea that, women who will listen to music with the idea that: That a man can kill women and quietly play music for thousands of spectators.
“That a man can kill women, spend a few months in prison and then be applauded, cheered and admired.
“Violence against women can not be eradicated from our society as long as festivals like yours but also film festivals, TV shows, or any other major events reward and invite murderers, rapists or criminals to be acclaimed and presented to the public as idols.”