Cannes takes hands-off approach on sexual harassment 

Photo: Facebook Festival de Cannes
Photo: Facebook Festival de Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival, which opened on Tuesday, May 8, and runs until May 19, is making only a symbolic show of getting into the #timesup spirit.

Attendees at the annual celebration of film have received fliers containing a message in French stating :“Good behavior is required” and adding “Don’t ruin the party. Stop harassment. The pamphlets included in the festival bags also have a hotline number for victims of sexual harassment or misconduct, or witnesses to report aggressors.

The pamphlet has an illustration of a bow-tie and sports the hashtag #NeRienLaisserPasser, which roughly translates into Don’t Let Anything Happen.

Cannes attracts thousands of film buyers, sellers, creatives and press from all over the world but, as the showbiz magazine Variety points out, many do not speak French. However, the flier does not have any translations, Variety complains.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux told Variety last month: “Cannes cannot be a substitute for the justice system or police: There are laws against harassment and sexual assaults and we will remind people of them … But yes, we are thinking about communicating on a larger scale about issues of safety and good behaviour, through education. There are many organisations which do wonderful work which we would like to promote.”


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