Girls’ Generation’s Im Yoon-ah faces alleged racial discrimination from security personnel

    Im Yoon-ah

    28th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The prestigious 77th Cannes Film Festival recently concluded, with the winners of various competition categories announced and notable films showcased during the event. However, controversy surrounding racial discrimination emerged following the festival’s closure, specifically targeting Im Yoon-ah, a member of the South Korean idol group Girls’ Generation.

    During the festival on the 19th, Im Yoon-ah, also known as YoonA, attended the screening of “Horizon: An American–Chapter 1” upon an invitation from a renowned jewellery brand. She made a stunning appearance on the red carpet, donning a pink high-slit gown. However, amidst the excitement, a security guard continuously obstructed her path, seemingly urging her to enter quickly and raising suspicions of driving her away. This incident sparked a heated discussion among netizens.

    The red carpet segment of the Cannes Film Festival includes a pathway for celebrities to enter, where they are greeted by the media. Additionally, the stairs serve as a popular spot for actors and actresses to take photos with the press and wave to the audience. After YoonA made her entrance on the red carpet, she proceeded through the media area and ascended the stairs. However, when she reached the top and turned around to wave to the crowd, a female security guard repeatedly impeded her progress and appeared to rush her, causing YoonA to display an uncomfortable expression. Despite her attempts to wave back, she cooperated with the security guard’s instructions and entered the venue at a slower pace.

    Once the video footage of the incident circulated online, numerous netizens criticised the security guard’s actions. Comments such as “This is racial discrimination!” and “Are they treating a goddess like an ordinary person?” flooded social media. Some observant netizens even compared the treatment of YoonA with other ethnicities, pointing out similar experiences faced by Dominican actress Massiel Taveras and African-American singer Kelly Rowland. This led many to question whether the Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet-arrangements exhibited racial bias.