The Cannes Film Festival instituted a sexual harassment hotline for the 71st edition of the esteemed competition. Deadline reports that the initiative has actually been put to use with accusations and calls flooding in several times a day. The initiative is regarded as a step towards transparency in a male-dominated field. This year’s #MeToo has been the ubiquitous headline of the past twelve months.
France’s Equality Minister Marlène Schiappa revealed one of the complaints by a person she described as an “Anglo-Saxon Woman.” The reason for her revelation is the escalation of the incident having led to a report being issued by local police.
The hotline is generally open between 9am and 2am during the course of the week, and is staffed by a set rotation of three individuals all capable of speaking several languages. A festival official organizer described the specificity and functions of her staff as a hereby conduit of getting in touch with actual first responders:“The hotline staff can provide advice on what to do but can also directly contact the relevant professionals, starting of course with the festival security staff but also police, hospitals, medical teams etc. The workers are also able to accompany the victims to help with translations, etc.”
Inevitably it’s up to the establishment to change its course, if “abusers” are to be held accountable. The initiative is co-authored by France’s Gender Equality Ministry. Actor Cate Blanchett and director Agnes Varda led a 81 person walk-out, in protest of Gender Inequality, at the risk of these ideals losing out to commodification.