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

From Reuters - February 14, 2018

BERLIN (Reuters) - Organizers 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 Januarys 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 color at this years 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.

Wed like to use our activities to dive deeper into the #MeToo debate than a carpet would allow, so we dont plan to put a black carpet down at the Berlinale, Kosslick said.

The festival had already announced a panel discussion on sexual harassment, a counseling 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.

Kosslick said some films were cut from the program due to sexual abuse allegations against people involved but he has declined to name them.

Around 400 films will be screened at the 68th Berlinale which opens with U.S. director Wes Andersons Isle of Dogs, an animated tale of a boy searching for his pet at a garbage dump where a fictional city has exiled all of its dogs.

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