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Asia Argento: Cannes was Harvey Weinstein’s ‘hunting ground’

The actress was one of the first to accuse the movie mogul of rape at Cannes Film Festival 1997

Cannes continued to be at the forefront of the industry reckoning with misogyny over the weekend when Italian actress Asia Argento, called out Hollywood’s abusers.

The 42-year-old was one of Harvey Weinstein’s earliest accusers and was quoted in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker exposé alleging that the movie mogul had raped her at Cannes in 1997 when she was 21-years-old.

“This festival was his hunting ground,” Argento said in a speech ahead of the awarding of the Palme d'Or and other prizes. “I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again. He will live in disgrace.”

She continued: “And even tonight sitting among you, there are those that 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.”

Weinstein has denied allegations of non-consensual sex, and a lawyer representing him said that Argento's claims were completely false.

Organisers of the festival have set up a telephone hotline for victims of harassment, and several discussion groups addressed the issues of sexual abuse and the under-representation of women in the film business.

The festival has been marked by a number of high profile protests this year. Last week, a group of 16 French black and mixed race actresses took to the red carpet to criticise racism in the film industry. Political protests for equal pay and Palestine also took place throughout the week.