After women claimed they were denied access to the red carpet at the premier of Cate Blanchett's new film Carol becasue they weren't wearing heels, controversy blew up all over the internet.
— Melissa Cole (@MelissaCole) May 19, 2015
Women in flats turned away @ #Cannes by a bunch of heels.May 20, 2015
At a dinner at the Carlton hotel on Tuesday night, director of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Fremaux said: "We apologise".
"There was perhaps a small moment of over-zealousness," he said, referring to the security guards who turned away the women, some of whom were said to be elderly with physical disabilities.
The story, first reported by trade magazine Screen International, sparked hundreds of angry tweets and was described by actress Emily Blunt as "very disappointing."
"Everyone should wear flats to be honest. We shouldn't wear high heels anyway," said Blunt at a press conference for her new film Sicario.
The director of Sicario, Denis Villeneuve, joked that he and the film's co-stars, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, would "walk the stairs in high heels" later that night in solidarity at the red-carpet premiere. Sadly, the trio didn't.
The festival issued a statement Tuesday in which it denied there was any official rule on female footwear.
"Regarding the dress code for the red carpet screenings, rules have not changed throughout the years (tuxedo, formal dress for Gala screenings) and there is no specific mention about the height of the women's heels as well as for men's," the statement said.