Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 23, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
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Controversy at Cannes

Helena Hughes' insightful Take on the Cannes 77th Annual Film Festival.
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Cannes Film Festival (Shy’m Net via Flickr)

France’s star-studded film festival, Cannes, took place last week. While it showcased some incredible films, it left much to be desired in terms of representation and the treatment of female stars.

The Cannes Film Festival has always been inspirational, with the greats of fashion and film collaborating to create a truly incredible experience. This year, much of the focus that would typically be on the art and culture displayed at the festival has instead been on the seemingly disrespectful treatment of female stars in attendance and the lack of representation within the films.

Stars including Kelly Rowland, Dominican actress Massiel Taveras, and South Korean actress and pop star Yoona were harassed by a bouncer as they moved from the red carpet into the Palais.

All three appeared extremely uncomfortable. The incidents were linked online to broader issues of discrimination against women of colour, which has been heavily scrutinised in France recently. However, footage of a white Ukrainian model being dragged by a security guard has been used by some to suggest that such incidents are perhaps more related to gender than ethnicity.

Kelly Rowland spoke to the newspapers about the incident with the bouncer, stating, “The woman knows what happened, I know what happened. I have a boundary, and I stand by those boundaries and that is it.” She continued, “There were other women who attended that carpet who did not look quite like me. And they didn’t get scolded, pushed off, or told to get off. And I stood my ground, and she felt like she had to stand hers. But I stood my ground.”

“The woman knows what happened. I know what happened. I have a boundary, and I stand by those boundaries, and that is it.”

Kelly Rowland

These incidents of aggression towards female celebrities should not be taken lightly. The lack of care in these situations suggests to many that verbal and physical violence against women is seen as more acceptable, which is extremely problematic. 

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