Cannes: Why Rosario Dawson, Elizabeth Olsen and More Stars Support the Selfie Ban

Fest (and selfie) regular Paris Hilton also calls the ban "amazing," citing safety concerns: "Someone could have something other than a phone."
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Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux has repeatedly leaned on the word “grotesque” when describing the act of taking a selfie on the world’s most glamorous red carpet, which lines the iconic steps of the Palais. He employed a few more adjectives earlier this month when he announced that the festival was banning selfies altogether and that officials would actually toss violators before they entered the screenings.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said at the time. “We want to restore a bit of decency.” While the restriction may seem out of sync in today’s social media–obsessed world where influencers are relied on to promote every opening and major event, not everyone disagrees with Fremaux. 

Rosario Dawson, who took a selfie on May 16, 2014, ahead of the world premiere of her film The Captive, as Fremaux looked on from his usual vantage point at the top of the steps, says the ban is a good thing. “I never ever do that, but I was like, ‘I’m at Cannes and everyone else is doing it,’ but just because everyone else is doesn’t mean you should too,” she explains to The Hollywood Reporter.

Selfie expert Paris Hilton — another Cannes regular — calls the ban “amazing,” adding that it takes pressure off people for having to take photos or say yes to requests from other guests. “Plus, it could get dangerous,” she continues. “You never know. Sometimes someone could have something other than a phone.”

Elizabeth Olsen, who's walked the carpet multiple times including appearances for Wind River in 2017 and Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011, says “it’s cool” Cannes won’t allow selfies any longer. “People should put their phones down.”

Even though Dawson is on Fremaux’s side on the thorny issue, she has no regrets about her prior pose and snap. “I have to find that photo,” she said with a smile. “It was worth it, but I may have ruined it for everybody.”


A version of this story first appeared in the May 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.