The Cannes Film Festival has not always had the best track record when it comes to women, and though the actress Asia Argento was one of the key figures to come out early with claims of sexual assault against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, she has faced a rocky reception in Italy and France ever since. Knowing all that, it was powerful enough to see Argento invited to take the stage tonight at the Cannes closing ceremony, and in the speech she delivered alongside Cannes jury member Ava DuVernay, Argento did not hold back.
“In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein at Cannes,” she told the audience. “I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground. I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again. He will live in disgrace, shunned by a film community that once embraced him and covered up for his crimes.”
With that, Argento looked into the crowd, and made it personal.
“Even tonight,” she said, “sitting among you, there are those who still have to be held accountable for their conduct against women, for behavior that does not belong in this industry, does not belong in any industry. You know who you are. But most importantly, we know who you are. And we’re not going to allow you to get away with it any longer.”