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Cannes Film Festival Promotes Sexual Harassment Hotline

The Cannes Film Festival is making a symbolic show of getting into the Time’s Up spirit.

Attendees at the annual celebration of film have received fliers containing a message in French stating “Good behavior is required” and adding “Don’t ruin the party. Stop harassment.” The pamphlets included in the festival bags also have a hotline number for people to use if they have been subjected to sexual harassment or misconduct. The all-white paper has an illustration of a bow-tie and sports the hashtag #NeRienLaisserPasser, which roughly translates into Don’t Let Anything Happen — in other words, See Something, Say Something.

Cannes attracts thousands of film buyers, sellers, creatives and press from all over the world, many of whom do not speak French. However, the flier does not have any translations.

Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux is holding a press conference Monday before the festival launches, likely to announce more initiatives related to conduct.

Hollywood has been consumed with charges of sexual harassment for months. In October, news broke that indie film mogul (and Cannes fixture) Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women. That sparked an industry-wide reckoning. In the ensuing months, major industry figures such as Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, and Brett Ratner were all accused of sexual misbehavior or assault.

Other industry-gatherings such as Sundance and CinemaCon have embraced stricter codes of conduct in the wake of these accusations. However, Cannes was initially criticized for being slow to respond to the #MeToo moment. Cannes declined to update its code of conduct to explicitly outlaw harassment, but organizers did work with the French government to create a hotline through which witnesses or victims could report misconduct.

“Cannes cannot be a substitute for the justice system or police: There are laws against harassment and sexual assaults and we will remind people of them,” said festival director Thierry Frémaux in an interview with Variety last month. “But yes, we are thinking about communicating on a larger scale about issues of safety and good behavior, through education. There are many organizations which do wonderful work which we would like to promote.”

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