CANNES Film Festival had a dramatic start as bosses came under fire for their decision to honour French actor Alain Delon in the wake of #MeToo.
‘We are not going to give Alain Delon the Nobel Peace Prize. We’re giving him a Palme d’Or for his career as an actor,’ said artistic director Thierry Fremaux.
An online petition had urged judges to rethink the award, branding the 83-year-old former sex symbol ‘racist’, ‘homophobic’ and ‘misogynistic’. Delon has admitting in the past to slapping his female partners and said same-sex adoption was ‘against nature’.
His son Alain-Fabien Delon, 24, also alleged in an interview six years ago that his dad left his mother Rosalie Van Breemen with eight broken ribs and twice broke her nose. Delon denies the claims.
Critics pointed out Delon is an odd choice a year after Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek and Kristen Stewart marched at the event, demanding safe work places in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
But speaking at the start of the 11-day festival, Mr Fremaux said it ‘condemns [the remarks] but it doesn’t condemn freedom of expression’.