The advert on the outside back cover of the Pitch Creative Talent issue, our Cannes special, highlights the sexual harassment some Black women working in the creative industry face, when attending the Cannes Lions Festival each year.
I was propositioned the first time I went to the Cannes Lions Festival in 2016. I was at the festival to promote my fledgling start-up Pitch. A man in our industry whispered in my ear, ‘how much for the night? I was shocked then and I still am. I've also heard several stories, from other women of colour, about the disrespect they’ve faced while attending what should be a festival where we can network and make worthwhile business contacts, instead some of us have to deal with inappropriate comments. I think the time has come to say enough is enough.
The creative industry talks about being diverse – which is great for all of us – but how diverse can it be when some women of colour within the industry are treated by some men within the industry, as though we couldn’t possibly be part of it!
This is racism and I’m calling it out.
Our campaign is backed by Cannes Lions. Here is a note from their former MD Jose Papa, Cannes Lions in June:
"First I’d like to thank your continued partnership and advocacy of Cannes Lions. It is very unfortunate you had to go through such an abominable experience. Congratulations on making your voice heard which will help to further silence the acts of absurd disrespect many have to endure. We have reiterated our Code of Conduct to all our delegates."