Kelly Rowland’s Treatment On The Cannes Red Carpet Is Part Of A Bigger Problem

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Kelly Rowland arrives for the screening of the film
Kelly Rowland arrives for the screening of the film "Marcello Mio" at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. ANTONIN THUILLIER via Getty Images

This week, Kelly Rowland had to put a security guard in check at the Cannes Film Festival. Our stunning diva was serving elegance and opulence on the red carpet, mingling with fans, when she was abruptly ushered inside by an overzealous security guard. The guard overstepped — it seemed as though the “Like This” singer was one of the only stars who was rushed up the carpet — and Kelly had to remind her who she wasn’t.

For those skilled in lip-reading, you can see Kelly firmly telling the guard not to touch her and reminding her she’s “not a child.” Meanwhile, supermodel Heidi Klum floated through the festival without a security guard in sight, enjoying her moment in the spotlight.

Even Beyoncé’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, took to Instagram to highlight the difference, posting a side-by-side comparison that showed Klum’s unbothered stroll versus Rowland’s interrupted moment.

A screenshot from Yvette Noel-Schure's Instagram stories comparing the red carpet treatment of Rowland and Klum.
A screenshot from Yvette Noel-Schure's Instagram stories comparing the red carpet treatment of Rowland and Klum. Instagram

Rowland addressed the incident in an interview with The Associated Press, saying she understood the guard had to “stand her ground,” but that she stood her own ground too. She noted that there were other women in attendance who didn’t quite look like her, and they weren’t “scolded” or “pushed off.” 

The incident underscores a serious issue beneath the festival’s glittering surface: the unequal treatment of certain stars on the red carpet.

If none of the white women were pushed or rushed off the carpet, Rowland deserves the same respect. She’s just as big a star as many of the attendees, if not bigger. She’s a child of Destiny, for crying out loud! After her interview with AP, Rowland returned to the carpet with no security invading her space, giving us the stunning candids we’re still admiring. I bet they won’t play with our girl again.

If there was a timing issue or something urgent requiring the carpet to be cleared, there’s still a proper way to handle it. As a reporter who has attended many high-profile red carpets, I can say that talent is never ushered off so abruptly. They are given their moment, and if they need to move inside, a discreet whisper to their publicist usually suffices. Experienced security personnel know, or should know, how to handle talent with the respect they deserve.

Let this be a lesson to personnel — the next time you cover a carpet, watch that tone and don’t use your hands. On a brighter note, we got another good meme to add to our personal collections, and beautiful candids of Rowland to gawk at.

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