The beautiful people who gathered at this year’s 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival were treated to an unexpected bit of entertainment when a half-naked woman whose body was painted with the colors of the Ukrainian flag and the words “STOP RAPING US” painted across her chest charged onto the red carpet area before being ushered off by security.
During the festivities to mark the world premiere of Mad Max franchise director George Miller’s new movie “Three Thousand Years of Longing” starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, the woman broke from the crowd, stripped off her clothing and began screaming, falling to her knees on the red carpet before security came to the rescue, wrapping her in a coat and leading her off in front of the shocked festivalgoers.
She was painted in blue and yellow with what appeared to be red paint splashed on her in various places. In addition to displaying “STOP RAPING US,” she was also wearing underwear with red splashes as well as markings in the form of bloody hands on her thighs as well as the word “SCUM” written on her lower back.
New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan captured the end of the incident on video which he posted to Twitter.
On the Cannes red carpet for George Miller’s new movie, the woman in front of me stripped off all her clothes (covered in body paint) and fell to her knees screaming in front of photographers. Cannes authorities rushed over, covered her in a coat, & blocked my camera from filming pic.twitter.com/JFdWlwVMEw
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 20, 2022
Variety Executive Editor Ramin Setoodeh posted another video angle of the disruption to Twitter.
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) May 20, 2022
Images from the action on the red carpet were posted to Twitter:
The unidentified woman ripped off her gown revealing the Ukrainian flag colours, with the words ‘STOP RAPING US’ emblazoned on her abdomen and red handprints on her buttocks https://t.co/7p2vfk9l2x pic.twitter.com/VisNsipgJy
— Reuters Showbiz (@ReutersShowbiz) May 20, 2022
A topless protestor on the red carpet at Cannes today, in Ukraine’s colors with body paint “stop raping us.” The other night, President Zelenskyy delivered a speech to the audience via video link. #Ukraine trying to get a message to us. pic.twitter.com/70yJ7WKt2A
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) May 20, 2022
— Ruthy ACE (@ruthy_ace) May 20, 2022
A woman stripped off on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival to reveal her body painted in the colours of the Ukrainian flag with the words "Stop Raping Us" in a solo protest on Friday. https://t.co/Q1sq5rgz74
— Jamaica Observer (@JamaicaObserver) May 20, 2022
Left-leaning celebrity news website Jezebel reported that “SCUM” referred to the French feminist collective of the same name which took credit for the protest in a statement to the outlet and also on social media via a Twitter account claiming to belong to the group.
— SCUM (@scum_officiel) May 20, 2022
“Women are the first victims of the war, conducted by and for men. We remind that war pimping and war rape, which are part of the Russian will to destroy the Ukrainian people, are crimes against humanity. The rape of women must not be a way for soldiers to defile their enemy,” Jezebel reported on the statement from SCUM.
“We remind that the inaction of Europe and the rest of the world in the face of the pimps’ and Russian soldiers’ violence is a form of complicity. We remind that in war as in peace, no woman is for sale, no woman is for rape, no man has the right to colonize and commercialize our bodies,” the statement added, according to the outlet.
It was no easy feat to penetrate security at Cannes, according to Variety, which noted: “Getting into Cannes’ Lumiere theater in the Palais requires multiple security checks. Guards are positioned outside of the carpet at stations that require attendees to walk through a metal detector. Once an attendee gets through that check point, they meet more guards at the start of the carpet that direct them when they are allowed to enter the theater. The red carpet itself is lined with security.”
The half-nude shrieking activist put a damper on the debut of Miller’s long-awaited “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” the first movie that he has produced and directed since 2015’s smash hit reboot of the apocalyptic world of the character famously played by Mel Gibson, the critically-acclaimed pyrotechnic masterpiece “Mad Max: Fury Road” with Tom Hardy taking over the title role.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy kicked off the film festival with a satellite video address.
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