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Women rejected from ‘Carol’ premiere for not wearing high heels

By Will Stroude

The Cannes Film Festival is facing a backlash after reportedly turning women away from the premiere of Cate Blanchett’s new period lesbian drama Carol for not wearing high heels.

A number of women in their 50s, some reportedly with medical conditions, were denied access to the showing of Todd Haynes’ film on Sunday night (May 17), according to Screen magazine.


Members of the group were reportedly wearing rhinestone flats at the time, and said that the subject matter of the film itself – a lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, which sees the pair challenge societal norms in 1950s New York – increased the outrage of those turned away.

“I’ve heard this happening several times now, even to older women who can’t wear heels for medical reasons. It’s bulls***,” said one attendee.

“Someone I know was turned away for wearing nice flats, nothing you would wear to the beach. They were in their 50’s. They told her she could go and buy appropriate shoes and come back.”

As Twitter reacted to the controversy, there were unconfirmed reports that Sicario director Denis Villeneuve announced in a press conference that he would wear heels to the film’s premiere at the festival, along with its stars Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.

And others have also been giving their two cents on the outrage:

The festival has reportedly declined to comment on the matter but have confirmed that it is obligatory for all women to wear high heels to red-carpet showings.

Meanwhile, Carol has been grabbing headlines for other reason this week, after its star Cate Blanchett was quoted as saying she’d had “many” relationships with women in the past – a statement she later said had been taken out of context by the press.

Carol will compete for the coveted Palme d’Or at the 68th Cannes Film Festival this week, following an expected worldwide release later in the year.

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