The Cannes Film Festival dress code has folks upset after several women attending the affair were allegedly barred from entering the event because of their footwear. According to Screen magazine, a few women in their 50s were turned away at a red carpet screening of Carol because they dared to not show up in stilettos. Of course, heels are uncomfortable for everyone, but there are also women who physically cannot wear them due to health reasons. Seems a little insensitive to exclude them from an event for a medical issue.
“Someone I know was turned away for wearing nice flats, nothing you would wear to the beach,” a source said. “They were in their 50s. They told her she could go and buy appropriate shoes and come back.” Cannes commented, saying its dress code “rules have not changed throughout the years (tuxedo, formal dress for Gala screenings) and 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.” If there are no rules about high heels, then why are women being denied entry to the festival for that reason? We guess in Cannes, flats simply aren’t considered formal wear for women. Naturally, the public is none too pleased with this sexist rule.
Oh Cannes just when u were making some progress then u turn away women wearing flats to the premiere of Carol about lesbians in 1952?
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) May 19, 2015
— Feminist Pics (@FeministPics) May 19, 2015
“Rhinestone flats are not going to cut it, lady. You’ve got to suffer good & proper if you want to watch movies” —Cannes Film Festival
— Briony Kidd (@BrionyKidd) May 19, 2015
Just when I thought the world couldn’t get more ridiculous & disgusting, I read about women being ushered out of Cannes for wearing flats.
— Nur Shakirah (@ShakirahShafian) May 19, 2015
A Twitter user noted that flats have been allowed on the Cannes red carpet before, citing three examples from the festival in 2011.
— Farran Nehme (@selfstyledsiren) May 19, 2015
BuzzFeed mentions a 21-year-old woman who was also denied entry into the festival for her flats, which she says she wore due to health reasons. “I can’t wear heels so I had put on beautiful silver flats. I was told that because I didn’t wear heels I couldn’t walk up the red carpet,” she said. “I [told him] I couldn’t wear heels and he asked for an invalid card, that’s what shocked me.”
Emily Blunt, who is actually at Cannes, offered her opinion on the issue at a press conference. “I think everyone should wear flats, to be honest,” she said. “We shouldn’t wear high heels anymore. That’s just my point of view. I prefer to wear Converse sneakers. That’s very disappointing.”
Larry Gagosian also found himself on the wrong end of the Cannes fashion police. The art dealer was turned away from the Carol screening for pairing stylish sneakers with his tux. According to Page Six, he was eventually allowed in thanks to Harvey Weinstein, who vouched for him at the door. Too bad all those women in flats didn’t have Harvey to negotiate for them.
The Cannes festival has come under fire over the years for not featuring as many films by female directors. This rule certainly isn’t helping their sexist boy’s club image.