A story about women in Cannes being turned away from a film because they were not wearing high-heeled shoes has sparked anger on social media this morning.
The story, which appeared in Screen magazine, said some middle-aged women had been turned away from the screening of Todd Haynes' Carol on Sunday night because they were not wearing high heels.
Multiple guests, some older with medical conditions, were denied access to the anticipated world-premiere screening for wearing rhinestone flats.
The festival declined to comment on the matter, but did confirm that it is obligatory for all women to wear high-heels to red-carpet screenings.
This does not appear to be a blanket rule: the BuzzFeed France reporter Anaïs Bordages was able to climb the red carpet stairs wearing flat shoes during the opening ceremony.
Asif Kapadia, the director of Amy, an upcoming biopic of Amy Winehouse, said on Twitter that his wife had initially been denied entry.
BuzzFeed has spoken to this woman, who was refused entry on account of her footwear.
The 21-year-old called Lucie (she did not want to give her full name), told BuzzFeed that she was waiting in the "last-minute line" for Sea of Trees by Gus Van Sant on Sunday evening.
The woman – who can't wear heels because she has problems with her ankles and back – told us: "We knew that at 8 p.m. there's a smart dress code so we put on dresses. I can't wear heels so I had put on beautiful silver flats. I was told that because I didn't wear heels I couldn't walk up the red carpet."
She said she'd thought what she was wearing was in line with the smart dress code. A man in front of her was told that he could go and change his brown shoes for black ones to match the dress code, so she asked the security guard whether the problem was the colour or the heels of her shoes, and was told "both". She said: "I [told him] I couldn't wear heels and he asked for an invalid card; that's what shocked me."
A lot of people have expressed their outrage at the story.
The actress Emily Blunt has been asked her opinion on the story in a recent press conference.
And it might just be the case that her co-stars are set to mount a protest.
A spokesperson for the Cannes Film Festival said:
"Regarding the dress code for the red carpet screenings, rules have not changed throughout the years (Tuxedo, formal dress for Gala screenings) and there is no specific mention about the height of the women’s heels as well as for men’s. Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the Festival’s hosts and hostesses were reminded of it."