Kelly Rowland claims she was racially discriminated against on the red carpet in Cannes after a video of her clashing with an usher went viral

  • Kelly Rowland has spoken out about being “scolded” by an usher at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • A viral video showed Rowland being led off the red carpet before a film premiere.

  • The singer told AP that other women “who didn't look quite like me” were not told to “get out.”

Kelly Rowland has spoken out about her seemingly heated exchange with a security guard at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week. The exchange was captured on video and subsequently widely shared on social media platforms.

The former Destiny's Child singer turned solo singer and actress walked the red carpet for Catherine Deneuve's latest film, “Marcello Mio,” on Tuesday, where she posed for photographers and waved to her fans.

As seen in … Video footage recorded by a participantRowland was being escorted up the steps of the Palais des Festivals by several ushers, and as she turned to wave to someone in the crowd, they approached her.

While Rowland initially seemed unfazed by the ushers' proximity, things changed when a woman in a black suit stepped on the train of her red Anamika Khanna dress.

Rowland then tapped her on the arm with a polite smile, but as the usher continued to stay close on her heels and extended her arm to guide the “Dilemma” singer up the stairs, Rowland turned back to her and admonished her seemingly forcefully with an outstretched finger.

Kelly Rowland poses for photographers as she arrives at the premiere of the film “Marcello Mio” during the 77th Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France.

Kelly Rowland poses for photographers as she arrives at the premiere of the film “Marcello Mio” during the 77th Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 21, 2024.Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP

Speaking to the Associated Press at the amfAR gala two days later, Rowland told her side of the story and suggested she had been a victim of racism.

“The woman knows what happened. I know what happened,” she said of the incident.

“I have boundaries and I stand by those boundaries and that's all,” she continued. “And there were other women on that carpet who didn't look quite like me and who weren't insulted, pushed down or told to get off.”

“I made my point, and she felt like she had to make her point. But I made my point.”

Representatives for the Cannes Film Festival's organizer, the French Association of International Film Festivals (AFFIF), did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment outside regular business hours.

As Variety and NBC reported, the annual film festival is known for its strict red carpet rules. Attendees must follow a strict protocol regarding both their appearance and behavior while walking the red carpet.

For example, attendees are not allowed to take selfies or use their own cameras on the carpet. Wearing high heels was once a requirement for women to attend, but that rule was changed after the festival faced backlash at its 2015 edition.

Guests are also rushed if they linger on the carpet for too long, and Rowland is not the first to be pushed off the red carpet. In 2013, socialite and Cannes regular Lady Victoria Hervey was asked to leave the carpet after posing for photographers outside the Palais for too long, reports said.

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