For decades, Harvey Weinstein was a mainstay at the Cannes Film Festival, where he was celebrated for producing films that would eventually land at the Oscars. He’s been notably absent from both events after his Hollywood exile that was ushered in by investigative features from the New York Times and the New Yorker, both of which detailed decades of his alleged sexual assaults on women. Italian actress Asia Argento (the daughter of horror director Dario Argento) has been one of the most vocal accusers, and she kept with that pattern during a Cannes closing speech.
While standing onstage next to Cannes jury member Ava DuVernay, Argento not only took Weinstein to task but called out Cannes attendees as well:
“In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. The 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.
“Even tonight sitting among you, there are those that need to be held accountable for their conduct against women. You know who you are.”
Argento continued while stressing that Weinstein’s accusers are also aware of which Cannes attendees helped facilitate Weinstein’s predatory behavior, and she stated that this will never happen again in the future. Her words echo Rose McGowan’s characterization of the “machinery” — that is, teams of publicists and agents — that helped Weinstein carry out his alleged sexual assaults on a global level, at events that included the Cannes and Sundance festivals.
Not incidentally, Argento and McGowan enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner (that was cooked by Argento’s boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain) together last year, at the height of the Weinstein accusations. Argento has also been shunned in her native Italy for speaking out against Weinstein’s behavior, but that (clearly) hasn’t silenced her. Watch a longer video of her speech below, courtesy of French journalist Hugo Clement.