Despite nearly a year of accusations, stories, and prosecutions, it seems that Harvey Weinstein still has his fans. On the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival, for the premiere of Suspiria by Amazon Studios, where most of the men were dressed in black tie, one man came wearing a t-shirt under his coat which read:
“Weinstein is Innocent.”
The Daily Beast is reporting that it wasn’t a festival crasher who wore the Weinstein shirt, but an Italian director named Luciano Silighini Gargnani. The director is well known as a Trump supporter in the United States and a fan of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy.
The Daily Beast says that it’s not a coincidence that two of the main accusers of producer Harvey Weinstein, Asia Argento and Ambra Battilana Guitierrez happen to be Italian, and this bit of theater was presented in Venice.
Harvey Weinstein is still wearing an ankle monitor while he is out on bail, and accusers continue to come forward with stories that often start with being trapped in a hotel room in the Peninsula Hotel. There is a third Italian accuser who has decided to keep her name private at this time, but she claims to have been assaulted in 2013.
— Ariston (@Aristonla) September 2, 2018
But while most of the accusers in the United States and the U.K., women’s #Metoo stories have been met with sympathy and understanding, that is not the case in Italy according to Marlow Stern.
“Still, unlike America and the UK, Italy has yet to embrace the #MeToo movement. Weinstein’s Italian accusers have been branded “whores” in their homeland, and Argento was even briefly forced to flee to Germany due to the fierce backlash.”
The Hollywood Reporter says that Luciano Silighini Garagnani made his own custom t-shirt for the event which he presented with all smiles. Next to Garagnani was the actor Paolo Riva who pointed at the shirt and laughed. Riva is said to be set to play Berlusconi in Garagnani’s upcoming film.
Despite the PR stunt, guards didn’t bother addressing the director with the Weinstein t-shirt, cementing the idea that the powers that be behind the Venice Film Festival are not supportive of women or the #Metoo movement. Pressure finally convinced promoters to push for some level of gender parity in the industry, but this current event seemed like a setback to most.
Jury president Guillermo del Toro said it’s a pervasive problem with attitude.
“It’s not a controversy. It’s a real problem we have in the culture in general.”