“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 said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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."
She went on to criticize those involved with the festival, calling them complicit in the abuse of dozens of women. “Even tonight sitting among you, there are those that need to be held accountable for their conduct against women. You know who you are,” Argento continued. "But most importantly we know who you are and we will not allow you to get away with it any longer."
According to THR, Argento was met with huge applause when she first entered the stage alongside director Ava DuVernay, but the crowd reportedly went silent during and after her speech. According to HuffPost, festival organizers had no idea Argento was going to make any remarks at the ceremony before she announced the award for best actress.
Argento shared her speech in a post on Twitter with a message to sexual assault survivors. “For all the brave women who came forward denouncing their predators, and for all the brave women who will come forward in the future. We got the power,” she wrote.
Argento was one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual assault when her story appeared in Ronan Farrow’s explosive New Yorker piece in October. Since then, more than 70 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape.