Asia Argento Delivers Searing Speech at Cannes: Festival Was Weinstein's "Hunting Ground"

Asia Argento Ava DuVernay - Getty - H 2018
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"Even tonight there are those that need to be held responsible for their conduct," she told the assembled crowd. "You know who you are."

Asia Argento earned roaring applause at the closing ceremony of this year's Cannes Film Festival on Saturday evening when she made a fiery speech about disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein's role at the event upon presenting the best actress award.

“I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. The festival was his hunting ground," the Italian actress and director, who has previously accused Weinstein of sexual assault, told the assembled crowd. "I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again. He will live in disgrace, shunned by a film community that once embraced him and covered up for his crimes. Even tonight sitting among you, there are those that need to be held accountable for their conduct against women. You know who you are. But most importantly we know who you are, and we will not allow you to get away with it any longer."

Argento entered the stage to loud applause before she started her speech, which eventually silenced the crowd. But as soon as she began, the room was visibly stunned, with viewers unsure of how to react and looking around nervously. Many were shocked, given that Argento was so directly accusing the festival crowd of its role in abetting Weinstein's alleged abuses against women.

After Argento's speech, jury president Cate Blanchett then stood and said, "It is complicated as a woman to stand," as the room remained palpably tense.

Rhonda Richford contributed to this report.