Sunday, 16 January 2022

French minister: Use Cannes festival to ‘liberate women’s voices

Marlène Schiappa

LONDON: The movie industry must use this week’s Cannes Film Festival to “liberate and listen to women’s voices” if it is to stamp out sexual harassment, the French minister for gender equality said.

From a hotline to report harassers at the event to flyers urging participants to behave properly, Marlene Schiappa hopes to use the glitz and glamor of Cannes to ramp up the pressure.

The movie industry “has to be part of the solution”, Schiappa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an email ahead of this year’s festival, which she said should be the “basis for liberating and listening to women’s voices”.

“The fact that the festival’s presidents decided to fight with us against sexual harassment for not just actresses but also workers and spectators at the festival … is unprecedented and a great step forward,” Schiappa said.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8-19 and follows allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that sparked last year’s #MeToo campaign, in which women and men shared their experiences of harassment.

Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures, Weinstein has been accused by more than 70 women of sexual misconduct, including rape.

He has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

In April, Schiappa launched a campaign with the festival organizers to tackle sexual harassment.


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