Film producer Valeria Richter, an amputee, stopped by Cannes security for not wearing heels
Women who weren't wearing high heels were banned from the red carpet at Cannes film festival. Despite alleged efforts made by the organizers of the festival to fight industry sexism (they opened the event with a film directed by a woman - the first time in 28 years - and are hosting a UN conference about gender equality), women wearing flats were turned away from the screening of Todd Haynes' feminist lesbian drama Carol.
And what's worse yet, film producer Valeria Richter, who has had her big toe and part of her left foot amputated, says she was stopped four times by festival security for wearing flat shoes at the Gus Van Sant's Sea of Trees premiere. She would not be able to "keep her balance" in high heels. "They just pointed their finger at my shoe, and just waving their finger, said: 'No, no, no, this won't work, you can't get in like this', so obviously it was my shoes," she said. "Obviously I could show [the amputation] off to the officials and that would make the situation a little awkward for them, because they could see that I maybe couldn't wear heels and I had a reasonable explanation. But many of my colleagues who just can't wear heels, some of them were rejected and could not come in."
American art dealer Larry Gagosian was also denied entry to the film's premier because he wore sneakers, but was eventually allowed in after allegedly calling his film producer friend Harvey Weinstein for help.
In protest of Cannes Film Festival's archaic dress code, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin vowed to wear high heels to the premiere of their new movie Sicario. They didn't follow through. Del Toro told Vulture "I tried to find high heels, but, sadly, I can't walk in them." Instead he wore sensible men's dress shoes alongside his co-star Emily Blunt wearing heels.
We reached out to the Cannes press team to find out if Larry Gagosian would be allowed to wear heels on the red carpet, but they have not gotten back to us about the specifics of their dress code.