Cannes Head Says Women Don’t Actually Have to Wear High Heels

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Thierry Frémaux. Photo: Corbis

After a group of women were reportedly turned away from a screening of Carol at the Cannes Film Festival for wearing flats, festival head Thierry Frémaux has tried to clarify that the Cannes dress code does not in fact require women to wear heels. Yet, his explanation that the incident was “the result of one security guard’s excess of zeal” hasn't curbed complaints of sexism — and he’s not happy about it. 

Frémaux got defensive at this morning’s Women in Motion talk, arguing that Cannes is being unfairly targeted as misogynist. “Attack the Oscars, not the festival!” he bristled.

In terms of representing female directors, Frémaux asserted that the Cannes committee “made quite a good effort in terms of selection,” and lamented that festivals in Berlin and Venice do not face the same level of scrutiny when it comes to gender issues. “The debate always takes place around May. Why not talk about this issue in November?” he remarked, adding: “Cannes is part of the chain, not the only ring.”