UPDATED: Venice Film Festival’s Alberto Barbera festival director adds his voice
Following Cannes Film Festival’s president Pierre Lescure and artistic director Thierry Fremaux who issued a statement on Wednesday, Berlin Film Festival’s director Dieter Kosslick reacted on Thursday to the flurry of bombshell reports accusing the disgraced producer of sexual misconduct.
Kosslick said it was “scandalous that (Weinstein’s) actions have been covered up for years.”
“We must thank the brave women who now have publicly come forward. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the courageous women who have come forth publicly. Sexual abuse and sexual attacks are crimes – a fact that society unfortunately still needs to be reminded of,” added Kosslick, who has hosted Weinstein many times over the years.
In a joint statement posted on the festival’s website, Lescure and Fremaux said they were “dismayed to learn of the accusations of harassment and sexual violence leveled against Weinstein.” Describing the embattled producer as a “familiar figure” at the festival, the Cannes chiefs said Weinstein’s “pattern of behavior merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation.”
Lescure and Fremaux also said they sympathized with the alleged victims. “May this case help us once again to denounce all such serious and unacceptable behavior,” Lescure and Fremaux said.
Venice Film Festival director also spoke about Weinstein today. “The behavior of Mr. Weinstein is unacceptable and shameful,” he said. “It is even more inexcusable because it comes from a powerful man, who used his position to perform extreme violence against women. But we cannot forget that every day and all over the world a lot of defenseless women are compelled to suffer similar humiliations and offenses.
“We can only truly hope that the disclosure of this tremendous case would help leading to a deep change in relationship between men and women,” said Barbera.
The Toronto International Film Festival also issued a statement today. “No woman should have to face sexual harassment,” it said. “TIFF salutes the courage of all who speak up, and we commit to fostering a safe environment for women in film.”
Meanwhile, the Legion of Honor – France’s highest award – that Weinstein received in 2012, following “The Artist’s” Oscar wins, is safe for now. The office of the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor in Paris told Variety that it would not consider stripping Weinstein of the decoration until there is a “final condemnation.”
“Considering the annulment of the Legion of Honor to foreigners, the rule is to wait for a final condemnation before launching disciplinary action,” the Grand Chancellor’s office said.
In Britain, however, Weinstein could lose his honorary title as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honor bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II upon the recommendation of the government. Prime Minister Theresa May hinted Wednesday that her administration could rescind the honor, following calls for her to do so by lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party.