In what is now being referred to as “flatgate,” the Cannes Film Festival has come under fire for allegedly shunning women, even the elderly or those with medical conditions, from red carpet screenings because they opted to wear flat shoes over high heels.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, several women were turned away from gala screenings by security, including Cate Blanchett’s lesbian romance film Carol, for wearing ankle boots, clogs, and loafers.
One was even physically pushed away for wearing platform sandals, THR reports.
Pertaining to red-carpet screenings, a festival source said the “rules have not changed throughout the years,” and that while there is no specific regulation on heels, “women were required to wear a formal dress.”
Several female guests did successfully pass through security in flat shoes, however, and a source for the publication saw one woman get through wearing patent-leather loafers with red heart socks, and another flaunting bright-red Dansko clogs.
The rules for men are said to be just as stringent at the festival this year.
One journalist was allegedly stopped by security for wearing glitter tuxedo loafers that were deemed inappropriate because they weren’t black and didn’t have laces.
However, other attendees were seen wearing brown heels and boat shoes the same evening.
Paris Hilton was even photographed wearing a silver sequined tuxedo jacket with matching shoes.
During a press conference Tuesday, actress Emily Blunt said she was disappointed to hear of the festival’s strict rules regarding women’s high heels.
“Everyone should wear flats, to be honest,” she said. “We shouldn’t wear high heels anyway, that’s my point of you. You kind of think that there’s these new waves of equality and waves of people realizing that women are just as fascinating and interesting to watch, and bankable.”
Amy Director Asif Kapadia tweeted that his wife was first denied access into a screening for not wearing high heels, but was “eventually let in.”
Festival director Thierry Fremaux denied there was a high-heel policy, tweeting “Not at all…The rumor that the festival requires high heels for women on the steps is unfounded.”
Director Denis Villeneuve, whose film will screen Wednesday evening, also said at the press conference that he planned to protest over “flatgate.”
“Benicio [Del Toro], Josh [Brolin] and I will walk the steps in high heels,” he said.