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Catherine Deneuve, others defend men's 'right' to seduce

PARIS (AP) - French movie star Catherine Deneuve and other prominent French women say men are being unfairly targeted by sexual misconduct allegations and should be free to hit on women.

Deneuve was among about 100 performers, scholars and others who signed an open letter published Tuesday by the newspaper Le Monde saying the "legitimate protest against sexual violence" stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal has gone too far and threatens hard-won sexual freedoms.

The letter reflects France's mixed feelings about widespread accusations of systematic sexual misconduct by powerful men in multiple countries in recent months.

France is home to famed feminists and its own "me too" movement, and the Deneuve-signed letter drew much criticism. However many people echo Deneuve's concerns of a new "puritanism" that goes against French traditions of seduction.

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