Asia Argento gives passionate speech against Harvey Weinstein, calls Cannes his 'hunting ground'

Asia Argento gave an impassioned speech at the Cannes Closing Ceremony that called out now-disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein as well as those in the industry who have yet to face justice for their alleged actions.

Argento, who was one of the first people to publicly accuse Weinstein of rape in the October 2017 expose in the New Yorker, took the stage alongside filmmaker Ava DuVernay to recount being raped by the disgraced former head of The Weinstein Co. In statements released by his representatives, Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.”

“In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground,” the Italian actress began her speech. “I want to make a prediction. Harvey Weinstein will never be welcome here again. He will live in disgrace, shunned by a film community that once embraced him and covered up for his crimes.”

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein (Reuters)

While Argento discussing her experience with Weinstein is powerful, it’s nothing new as she’s previously detailed her allegations. However, her words did not stop at simply calling out Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.

“And even tonight, sitting among you, there are those who still need to be held accountable for their conduct against women. For behavior that does not belong in this industry, does not belong in any industry or workplace… You know who you are, but most importantly, we know who you are and we’re not going to allow you to  get away with it any longer.”

Her speech was filmed and shared by French reporter Hugo Clement.

Since Weinstein's outing in October as an alleged sexual predator, sparked by the growing #MeToo movement, the door is open for women to speak out about the misconduct of powerful men in show business who they accuse of similar sexual harassment or misconduct.

While Cannes may have previously been a hunting ground for Weinstein, 2018 saw a significantly different tone. As Entertainment Weekly reports, jury president Cate Blanchett led 82 women in an event in which they spoke out against gender pay disparity as well as to support female voices in the industry.

“Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise,” Blanchett said. “As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress. We are writers, we are producers, we are directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents, and all of us are involved in the cinematic arts. And we stand in solidarity with women of all industries.”