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Could Cannes Film Festival suffer the same backlash as the Met Gala?

By Florence Julienne


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Pro-Palestinian demonstrators chant near the Met Gala. Credits: Charly Triballeau / AFP

Are luxury brands that give themselves exposure by dressing celebrities for high-profile events such as the Met Gala, the Cannes Film Festival or Paris Fashion Week in trouble? The question is a valid one.

The Cannes Film Festival and the Met Gala give celebrities the opportunity to parade down the red carpet, dressed by luxury brands. This enthusiasm for the red carpet has been heightened by social networks, whose algorithms broadcast images in a loop as soon as someone starts watching.

Except that in the current political climate, some followers have started to delete or block certain celebrities from their news feed who seem to them to be completely out of touch with the reality of the majority of people. It all seems to have started with the Met Gala 2024.

The web caught fire with this viral post on TikTok showing influencer Haley Kalil (5.7 million followers on Instagram), dressed as Marie-Antoinette (to match the Garden of Eden theme of the Met Gala 2024) saying "let them eat cake", the famous phrase attributed to the queen at a time when some of the French people were starving. In another post, a montage shows her performing antics in front of the rubble of the Gaza Strip.

Since the Met Gala 2024, notorious ambassadors Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, etc. have lost many folllowers

Under the #blockout2024 banner, which consists of blocking celebrities en masse, influencer Margaux Sauvages (22,600 followers) explained: "I've blocked nearly 200 celebrities and brands on Instagram and TikTok, and here's my feedback: first of all, no, I don't feel an interstellar void, my life still has meaning. We've had enough of these people with big platforms not taking a stand."

Sauvages added: "It's one thing not to follow someone, it's quite another to block them, because then their posts are no longer suggested to you and sponsored posts no longer arrive in your feed. Their statistics plummet, and this is precisely what brands are looking at for their collaboration. Since these measures were taken, a host of celebrities have spoken out, which shows that it works."

Will this backlash have an impact on the economy? And, by extension, will Fashion Weeks, which for the big brands have become more celebrity than fashion, acting as a screen for an ailing fashion ecosystem (young designers, multi-brand distribution network, etc.), be disrupted? Find out at upcoming events.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.

Cannes Film Festival
Met Gala