Cannes Film Festival Hit by Sexist Movie Badge Row

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By Tom Teodorczuk | 2:16 pm, May 18, 2017

The Cannes Film Festival, which has just kicked off in the South of France, has been giving out free red badges to journalists and movie industry folk.

It’s a playful gesture by organizers, designed to satirize those whose minds not be fully on the festival’s eclectic slate of movies. One of them reads “How come I didn’t get invited?” while another states: “I’m so pathetic: I took a selfie on the red carpet” (a reference to last year’s mooted Cannes Film Festival ban on selfies which was never widely enforced).

As if to reinforce the point that the festival is getting less movie-centric, the badges have been generating some buzz. The Hollywood Reporter and New York Magazine’s Vulture  have both devoted features to them.

One of the badges however is getting called out for being sexist. The offending badge in question reads: “It’s the latest by what’s-his-name, the guy who did that other movie.”

The gender-specific third-person citation is annoying some in Cannes who complain the festival is already male-dominated enough (16% of the movies in this year’s competition are made by women) without being triggered by a ‘bro badge’.

Kamala Lopez, who describes herself in her Twitter bio as “actress, director, writer, filmmaker, activist & agitator” tweeted: “Check out weird [sexist] button. WTF, NO women directors?”

Tiffany Sharp, a British director, told Heat Street: “It’s unfortunate to say the least given how under-represented women are at the festival that these badges made specific references to guys. A badge might seem like a trivial thing but it speaks volumes for the mindset of the festival and it is really discouraging for women filmmakers.”

The ‘bro badge’ is presumably less discouraging than what went down on the Croisette in 2012 when there were zero women filmmakers with movies in competition in Cannes…