Female Hollywood stars to protest on Cannes red carpet

Toby Graves
May 9, 2018

Organisers of the Cannes film festival have revealed that female Hollywood stars would stage a #MeToo movement against sexual assault on the red carpet.

Long before Weinstein was accused of attacking four women at the festival, Cannes had been under fire for a "problem with women".

Australian actress Cate Blanchett is presdient of this year's Cannes jury.

Yet she said coming to Cannes was "almost a gladiatorial sport" and it was important that film-makers were "ready" for the exposure.

Blanchett, who called their plight "a bad situation" was asked it that would alter the way their films are judged.

Of the nine jury members, five are women.

Burundian Khadja Nin has become one of French-speaking Africa's most celebrated singer-songwriters with her unique blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and modern pop.

Of the three white women, two - Ms Blanchett herself and French actress Lea Seydoux (Blue is The Warmest Colour) - have spoken about about being sexually harassed by Mr Weinstein.

It has also further increased pressure on Cannes to address the glaring gender imbalance in its main competition and overhaul a dress code considered sexist by critics, with women stopped on the red carpet in previous years for not wearing high heels.

She added: "Would I like to see more women in competition?"

She made her breakthrough as Britain's flame-haired monarch Elizabeth I in the 1998 biopic, earning her the first of her six Oscar nominations.

"It's very hard to sit in judgement of other artists. that is going to be the most challenging, most painful moment for all of us", said Blanchett.

Despite a plea by USA director Oliver Stone and other supporters, Tehran has refused to lift a travel ban on the dissident Iranian master Jafar Panahi, whose "Three Faces" is in the running for the Palme d'Or. He's was out during the day to shoot, and returned to prison every evening.

The two-time Oscar victor also gave short shrift to a journalist who suggested the festival's traditions of glitz and glamour were at odds with the current mood.

The festival, which reportedly has a budget of Euro 20,000,000, has put its faith in Mr Gilliam and is fighting the case, with the hope that Wednesday's judgment doesn't embarrass it. "But who knows what this particular experiment will be, and I'm sure his body of work will stand with or without the Palme d'Or". "These are adults; we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition", he has said in interviews.

The 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival will run until May 19.

Yet with no fewer than a dozen films with LGBT themes, and others tackling child abuse, male prostitution and an eye-watering DIY sex change, it has all the makings of a vintage year for scandal and controversy. But that did not stop the Oscar victor from delivering the kind of deft, articulate responses that proved her the ideal leader-no offense, Cannes director Thierry Frémaux-to guide the flawed French festival through its Time's Up-era evolution.

All the women members of the jury rose their hand when asked if they will join the march.

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