Entertainment

Cannes Film Festival To Set Up Sexual Harassment Phone Line

An anti-sexual harassment hotline will be set up for the Cannes film festival in May after disgraced Hollywood tycoon Harvey Weinstein was accused of committing sex attacks during past festivals.

The French equality minister Marlène Schiappa said attendees will be warned about their behaviour when they arrive at the world’s biggest film festival, which takes place on the French Riviera.

“We have set up a partnership with the Cannes film festival to tackle sexual harassment,” Schiappa said on 26 April. The telephone hotline is for victims or witnesses to report aggressors.

“One of the rapes that Harvey Weinstein is accused of happened at Cannes, and so the festival cannot not act,” the minister said.

Schiappa is presumably referring to the allegation of rape made by actor Asia Argento, which she alleged occurred during the festival in 1997. However, Weinstein has been accused of a number of instances of inappropriate behaviour at the festival, including by actors Alice Evans and Judith Godrèche.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sexual activity.

Schiappa said the measures were being established not just to protect actors but all people working in or around the film industry.

The move follows criticism of the festival’s response to the issues raised by the Weinstein scandal and the Time’s Up campaign. There has been no improvement in the numbers of female film-makers selected for the festival’s high-profile competition, and director Lars von Trier has been readmitted to the lineup after a seven-year ban despite sex harassment allegations against him, which he denies,by his Dancer in the Dark star, Björk.

The Cannes film festival runs 8-19 May.

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