Cannes Film Festival organizers recently announced some steps it has taken to modernize and distance itself from the #MeToo awakening sparked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017.
The 72nd annual French festival increased the number of female filmmakers in its lineup to a record 15, and it has added several family-friendly services including breastfeeding and baby-changing areas and a kids pavilion, according to the Guardian.
But #MeToo supporters are outraged over its decision to honor French actor Alain Delon with the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), the festival's highest award, the New York Post reported. Delon was accused of domestic violence against his ex-wife. Delon denies the accusations.
Past award recipients include controversial film director Woody Allen.
What are the accusations against Delon?
Delon, a sex symbol of the 1960s, dominated France's international box office for more than 20 years. He was also the highest paid French actor during his era, according to Vanity Fair.
During a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair Italia, Delon's son, Alain-Fabien Delon, accused his father of physically abusing his mother. He claimed that Alain Delon had broken his ex-wife Rosalie van Breemen's nose twice and eight of her ribs.
"These are insanities. My son is totally lost, and only gives sensational interviews for money," Alain Delon reportedly told the Le Parisien in response to his son's accusations.
In November, Alain Delon told French radio host Catherine Ceylac during an interview that he had acted "macho" with women in his life, according to Tech2.
"If a slap is macho, yes, I had to be macho, but I've also had slaps, even from women!" the actor said.
Festival director Thierry Frémaux defended the move to honor Alain Delon, despite an online petition and other calls to rescind the award.
"We are not going to give Alain Delon the Nobel Peace Prize. We're giving him a Palme d'Or for his career as an actor," Frémaux told reporters during a news conference on Monday.
Delon "has said things and he has the right to express his opinion, not that I agree with him ... Obviously, the Cannes Film Festival condemns [the remarks], but it doesn't condemn freedom of expression," Frémaux added, according to the NY Post.
Alain Delon is expected to receive the award on Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival.
Last year, the festival launched an abuse and harassment hotline.