The organizers of this year’s Cannes Film Festival are taking steps to make it a safer place. Months after the Harvey Weinstein scandal struck Hollywood, Cannes is setting up a sexual harassment hotline for victims or witnesses to report any incidents of harassment or assault.
French women’s equality minister Marlene Schiappa joined forces with the organizers of the festival, explicitly saying that Weinstein’s actions were the impetus for the move. “We have set up a partnership with the Cannes Film Festival to tackle sexual harassment,” she told the AFP. “One of the rapes that Harvey Weinstein is accused of happened at Cannes, and so the festival cannot not act.”
Weinstein was accused of raping actress Asia Argento in a meeting at his suite at the Hotel du Cap back in 1997. Weinstein has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux said that the festival “will never be the same again” since the allegations against Weinstein came to light. “We will discuss our own practices with the festival team,” he said in a press conference on April 12.
The festival kicks off on May 8 in the south of France, and it isn’t the only thing that has changed since the Weinstein scandal. The allegations brought about the rise of #MeToo, a movement of women and men telling their own sexual assault and harassment stories, as well as Time’s Up, a legal defense fund to subsidize the cases of individuals who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.