This Fest Was Harvey’s Hunting Ground: Asia Argento in Cannes

Italian Actor, singer, model, activist and director Asia Argento was one of the first prominent personalities to come out with accusations of sexual assault against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. Her early claims almost made her the face of the #MeToo movement. Her revelations to the international press garnered a lot of criticism and Argento was at the receiving end of the onslaught of victim-blaming.

The actor had disclosed that she had been raped by Weinstein to The New Yorker in October last year. She took the stage at the Cannes closing ceremony, and delivered a searing speech alongside Cannes jury member Ava DuVernay.

"“In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein at Cannes. 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.”" - Asia Argento

Argento was unstoppable as she went on to address the audience with an unwavering fervour.

"“Even tonight, 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.”" - Asia Argento

The formidable moment was a follow-up to 82 women - representing the minuscule number of films by female directors competing in the festival across the years -condemning gender inequality in the industry on the red carpet.

Her speech may have elicited a sombre response from the audience but pocketed kudos and applause on social media.

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