Reports claim that women were prevented from attending gala events at the prestigious festival because they weren't wearing high heels.
Watching a movie without uncomfortable shoes? How uncivilized. (stock photo)
Since 1946, the Cannes International Film Festival has been at the forefront of cinema. Showcasing films and filmmakers from across the globe, the invitation-only event is widely considered the most prestigious film festival in the world. The problem is that it's also a stodgy snooze-fest where a bunch of pretentious old European farts can live out their fantasy of deciding what movies people should be allowed to like. Now, however, it's their taste that's being criticized.
A number of festival-goers are reporting that women have been turned away from screenings at the festival because their shoes weren't high enough. Apparently, the "hosts" (security guards) at Cannes are instructed to strictly enforce the festival's unwritten dress code, which mandates tuxedos and bow ties for men, and dresses with heels for women. How you can strictly enforce an unwritten rule is lost on me. Christine Aime, a spokeswoman for the festival, told NBC News that the staff had made a mistake:
"There is no specific mention about the height of the women's heels as well as for men's. Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the festival's hosts and hostesses were reminded of it."
Perhaps they should have been reminded to have some class. Reports are claiming that several women over 50, some with medical conditions, were turned away at a screening of Carol, a lesbian romance film starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Cannes is making an effort to feature movies like Carol this year, in response to claims of sexism by the festival organizers. That one sure backfired on them.
The cast and director of Sicario (footwear not pictured). (Getty)
Emily Blunt, attending the festival to premiere her movie Sicario, had some harsh comments. She called the news "very disappointing," adding, "I think everyone should wear flats." Denis Villeneuve, the director of the film, joked that he would wear heels to the premiere as a protest, along with the male stars Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.
Others from the world of film are coming down hard on Cannes too. Janet Pierson, the head of film at the South by Southwest Festival, tweeted this:
Why I don't go to Cannes RT Women denied Palais entry for wearing flats http://t.co/AEzcE425Nb
— Janet Pierson (@JanetPierson) May 19, 2015
It looks like the folks at Cannes have a lot of backpedaling to do if they want to seem like they're living in the 21st century. Or they could just go whole hog and demand whale-bone corsets and chastity belts. Also, all the movies would be silent.