Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Film Festival 'Dismayed' over Harvey Weinstein Allegations

Magazine article Screen International

Cannes Film Festival 'Dismayed' over Harvey Weinstein Allegations

Article excerpt

Festival issues “the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation” of producer.

Cannes Film Festival top brass issued a statement on Wednesday in which they expressed “the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation” of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged behaviour as it emerged the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences board will meet on Saturday to address the scandal.

In other developments in what has become a daily torrent of statements and condemnations led by news that Bafta had suspended Weinstein’s membership, actresses Léa Seydoux and Cara Delevingne have spoken of encounters with the disgraced former film mogul.

The Cannes statement issued by president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Fremaux read: “We have been dismayed to learn of the accusations of harassment and sexual violence recently levelled against Harvey Weinstein, a film professional whose activity and success are well known to all. They have led him to make frequent visits to Cannes over many years, with numerous films selected at the International Film Festival, at which he has been a familiar figure.

“These actions point to a pattern of behaviour that merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation. Our thoughts go out to the victims, to those who have had the courage to testify and to all the others. May this case help us once again to denounce all such serious and unacceptable practices.”

The Academy issued the following statement: “The Academy finds the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents. The Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, October 14, to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”

Seydoux, the Palme d’Or-winning star of Blue Is The Warmest Color, wrote in a column in The Guardian how she was having drinks at a hotel with Weinstein when he invited her to his room.

“We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me,” Seydoux wrote. “I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted. I wasn’t afraid of him, though. Because I knew what kind of man he was all along.”

The actress added later that she subsequently witnessed Weinstein trying his luck with other women in full view of observers. “That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything. It’s unbelievable that he’s been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career. That’s only possible because he has a huge amount of power.

“In this industry, there are directors who abuse their position. They are very influential, that’s how they can do that. With Harvey, it was physical. With others, it’s just words. Sometimes, it feels like you have to be very strong to be a woman in the film industry. It’s very common to encounter these kinds of men.”

Cara Delevingne wrote in an Instagram post: “When I first started to work as an actress, I was working on a film and I received a call from Harvey Weinstein asking if I had slept with any of the women I was seen out with in the media. …

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