On Saturday evening, director and actress Asia Argento had the undivided attention of the crowd at Cannes’ Film Festival’s closing ceremony as she not only called out Harvey Weinstein for raping her at the film festival 20 years ago but also those who have yet to face their crimes, reports The New York Times.
“The festival was his hunting ground,” said Argento as she stood on stage next to Ava DuVernay, ready to present the award for best actress. Argento was one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Her story was detailed by The New Yorker back in October of last year. Argento’s interactions with Weinstein went on for years after the assault. She received so much criticism for coming forward with her story that she had to temporarily leave her home country of Italy. Since then, she has been a vocal advocate for changing the harmful culture of complicity in the film and entertainment industries.
Argento didn’t just use the moment to call out a known offender. She wanted to put a spotlight on the offenders whose names are still whispered. For every known assault, there are so many more going unreported. “Even tonight sitting among you, there are those that need to be held accountable for their conduct against women,” she continued. “You know who you are, but most importantly we know who you are and we will not allow you to get away with it any longer.” Her stand received an uproar of applause from festivalgoers. Argento’s speech comes days after 82 women locked arms to walk the Cannes red carpet together in solidarity demanding equal pay and gender representation in the film industry.
The progress and awareness of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement have continued to gain momentum as more and more women demonstrate that every opportunity is an opportunity for change, and that there is no place too big or too prestigious to call out injustice by name.