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What Happened With That Security Guard at Cannes? Breaking Down the Celeb Red Carpet Incidents

Breaking Down the Security Guard Incidents at 2024 Cannes Film Festival
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

One female security guard from the 2024 Cannes Film Festival is making headlines for her interactions with various celebrities on the red carpet — and many have suggested that race may have played a factor in the incidents.

Kelly Rowland attended the Marcello Mio movie premiere on May 21, and videos circulating on social media showed two security guards ushering her up the Palais des Festivals staircase. The aforementioned female guard was one of the red carpet ushers with Rowland, and put her hand up behind the singer’s back as she walked up the staircase while turning around and waving to fans.

While the second security member appeared to walk away, a visibly frustrated Rowland turned around and said something to the female guard, who continued to leave her arm up.

“There were other women that attended that carpet who did not quite look like me and they didn’t get scolded or pushed off or told to get off. I stood my ground and she felt like she had to stand hers,” Rowland told the Associated Press days after the now-viral red carpet moment. “But I stood my ground.”

Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet gallery 415

Related: The Best Red Carpet Fashion From 2024 Cannes Film Festival

As Cannes continued in the days that followed, eagle-eyed fans shared videos of the same security guard interacting with other stars.

“That Cannes security guard is crazy,” one X user wrote. “Because even if the rules are ‘usher them inside, get them off the stairs,’ now you make the whole festival look bad wrestling guests and having FOUR altercations with people. Let them get their pic and get them inside.”

Keep scrolling for details about the Cannes security guard — and her various interactions:


K-pop stars online quickly came to singer Yoona’s defense after the musician had a similar experience with the same Cannes security guard on May 19. The guard had her arm out in front of Yoona while she was waving at fans. The singer looked down at the guard’s arm before continuing her ascent up the stairs.

Kelly Rowland

Rowland’s incident with the security guard took place on May 21 at the Marcello Mio premiere.

“The woman knows what happened, I know what happened,” Rowland told AP Entertainment on May 23. “I have a boundary and I stand by those boundaries, and that is it.”

Sawa Pontyjska

The Miss Europe 2023 winner shared a video of her interaction with the security guard via TikTok on May 21 date. While at the Marcello Mio premiere, Pontyjska can be seen posing for photos at the top of the stairs as the same female security guard attempted to drag the model inside.


Sava Pontyjska, Cannes Marcelo Mio premiere

♬ Нафтаґаз – Monrote

On May 30, Pontyjska revealed that she’s suing the Cannes Film Festival, sharing photos of court documents on TikTok. The BBC confirmed that she’s suing for “physical assault and psychological damage,” seeking €100,000 ($108,769.50) in damages.

Massiel Taveras

The former Miss Dominican Republic attended the Le Comte De Monte-Cristo premiere on May 22 wearing a Giannina Azar gown that featured a 15-foot train adorned with a portrait of Jesus Christ. As she ascended the same staircase, Taveras attempted to lay out the dress’ train for a photo.

As Taveras attempted to pose for photos, she asked the ushers to step back and the same female security guard stepped up behind the actress with her arm up. Eventually, the female security guard put her arm around Taveras shoulders to bring her into the theater. Taveras shoved the guard, per video footage of the moment.

Breaking Down the Security Guard Incidents at 2024 Cannes Film Festival
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Mike Marsland/WireImage

“I want to thank all of you for this incredible support, today more than ever we need to stay together, support each other, protect our soul, have strong boundaries and stand for our rights,” Taveras shared via Instagram Stories on May 27, reacting to her incident with the woman. The actress went on to ask followers to send Rowland “love and respect,” calling the singer “a pure soul, a talented, classy, educated woman of color that represents with respect all of US.”

Taveras also praised how Rowland handled the situation with the security guard.

“I didn’t know that happened to you first, I was very impressed how calm and genteel you were because in my case I was tired of the abuse,” she continued. “BLACK WOMAN MATTERS — we are not going to be in silence on situations like that, we need respect, it’s enough. I hug you queen #kellyrowland.”

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