(Cannes) ‘Shame’: A collective of French actors and actresses slams the Cannes Film Festival for rolling out ‘the red carpet to men and women who attack’, in reference to actor Johnny Depp, warmly welcomed on Tuesday evening, and to the director Maïwenn.

For its part, the organization Osez le Féminisme! called for a “boycott” of the festival, accusing the cinema of “celebrating the abusers” and “participating in the trivialization of male violence”.

The 76th edition of the world’s biggest film festival is marked by the return of Johnny Depp in the opening film Jeanne du Barry, after he was sidelined from Hollywood sets in recent years following accusations of violence marriage of his ex-girlfriend Amber Heard.

The French director of the film, Maïwenn, is herself facing a legal complaint, after having recently attacked the boss of the independent news site Mediapart, Edwy Plenel, in a restaurant.

In a column published by the daily Liberation, 123 actors and actresses, including Julie Gayet and Laure Calamy, say they are “deeply indignant”, claiming to refuse “to remain silent in the face of the political positions displayed by the Cannes Film Festival”. .

“By rolling out the red carpet to the men and women who attack, the festival sends the message that in our country we can continue to exercise violence with impunity, that violence is acceptable in the places of creation”, adds the text .

The signatories point out that “French cinema has integrated a dysfunctional system that crushes and annihilates”. “When we have the courage to speak up or ask for help, we too often hear ourselves say: ‘Please shut up, for the life of the film'”, they still denounce.

The collective also supports actress Adèle Haenel, who formalized her stoppage of cinema a week ago to denounce a “complacency” of the 7th art vis-à-vis sexual aggressors. The actress had made a sensational exit during the Césars ceremony in 2020 to oppose the coronation of Roman Polanski (awarded the César for best director for his film J’accuse), when he was caught up in old accusations. of rape.

Among the signatories are also the actress Ophélie Bau, one of the stars of the sulphurous Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo by Abdellatif Kechiche, believing that her contract had not been respected concerning the use of a non-simulated oral sex scene between she and Romeo de Lacour.

six years later

“The threat to the ‘lives’ and ‘shattered careers’ of the men accused of violence, complacently brought out by the media with each courageous speech by victims, does not stand the test of the facts”, adds the organization, referring to a $20 million contract signed by Johnny Depp with the French luxury brand Dior.

For its part, the CGT union criticized the Festival’s choice to select French director Catherine Corsini’s film, The Return, after suspicions of harassment and irregularities concerning an explicitly sexual but simulated scene involving an actress under the age of 16 years old.

Making this choice shows that “moral, sexist and sexual violence is not a subject for the Cannes Film Festival. Those who denounce them have no voice in the chapter of the sacrosanct creation,” he denounces.