Berlin film fest turns down ‘MeToo’ plea to turn red carpet black

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(Reuters) – Organisers of the Berlin International Film Festival on Wednesday declined a call to have movie stars walk a black, rather than red, carpet as a symbol of support for the campaign against sexual harassment in the industry.

After January’s Golden Globes ceremony where people wore black on the red carpet to express solidarity with the movement , more than 21,000 people signed a petition calling for the carpet itself to change colour at this year’s “Berlinale”.

But one day before the festival opened, its director, Dieter Kosslick, said he understood the reasons for the campaign but had decided against “symbolic politics” and wanted to instead focus on events discussing sexual harassment.

“We’d like to use our activities to dive deeper into the #MeToo debate than a carpet would allow, so we don’t plan to put a black carpet down at the Berlinale,” Kosslick said.

The festival had already announced a panel discussion on sexual harassment, a counselling corner and a seminar that will encourage women who have suffered harassment to speak up and seek ways to boost equality in the film industry.

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