The Cannes Film Festival's organisers have defended turning women away from red-carpet film screenings if they weren't wearing high heels.
In a statement following reports of an online backlash against the festival's controversial dress code, a spokesperson told The Independent that the policy had been in place "throughout the years".
Some women took to Twitter to say that they had been forced to "argue their way in" to events, even if they were not wearing heels for medical reasons. Others, according to Screen magazine, were turned away altogether.
A spokesperson for Cannes said: "Regarding the dress code for the red carpet screenings, rules have not changed throughout the years.
"There is no specific mention about the height of the women’s heels as well as for men’s. Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the Festival’s hosts and hostesses were reminded of it."
Earlier, social media users complained that the festival's red-carpet traditions were "outdated", while others said they were "seething". The phrase #cannesheels trended for a short while on Twitter.
Vicci Ho, a Cannes regular and former festival programmer, wrote on Twitter that she was "almost turned away" for wearing leather flats, despite doing so because she was suffering ankle problems. She later wrote on the site that the enforcement of the dress code had been "ridiculous this year".
According to Screen, a number of women in their 50s were denied access to the showing of Todd Haynes’ entry Carol on Sunday night.
It claimed the women were wearing rhinestone flats at the time – and said that the subject matter of the film itself – a lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett about fighting against societal norms – added to the outrage of those turned away.
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