‘A prediction’

Asia Argento silences audience at Cannes Festival by declaring that abusers still sit among them

Italian actress Asia Argento (L) speaks on stage as U.S. director and screenwriter and member of the Feature Film Jury Ava DuVernay listens on May 19, 2018 for the closing ceremony of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Asia Argento sent a noticeable chill through the audience at the Cannes Film Festival over the weekend when she reminded the Hollywood elite in attendance that there were still people sitting among them who had yet “to be held accountable for their conduct against women.” The actress and director received thunderous applause when she took the stage during the festival’s closing ceremonies, but her fiery candor and unapologetic frankness appeared to leave many in the room stunned.

“I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. The festival was his hunting ground,” said Argento, who was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. “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,” she added. “You know who you are. But most importantly we know who you are, and we will not allow you to get away with it any longer.”

After Argento finished her speech, the room erupted once again into applause. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, a palpable tension was left in the wake of her remarks as the crowd struggled to come to terms with the difficult question of people’s complicity in regard to Weinstein’s behavior — as well as that of the other possible abusers still lurking among them. Below, watch a highlight from the speech.

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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