Creativity

Should the Cannes Lion Be Shorn of Half Its Mane?

#CallForEquality Demands a Gender-Neutral Trophy

By Emma Hall. Published on Apr 04, 2017

Editor's Pick

Should the famous Cannes Lion become half lioness in a bid to become a more gender-neutral symbol of success in the industry?

Jose Papa, the new managing director of the Cannes Lions International Festivity of Creativity, has not dismissed the idea out of hand. He has said that he is willing to meet with Richard Pinder, Crispin Porter & Bogusky's CEO U.K. and International, and Ali Hanan, founder and CEO of gender diversity organization Creative Equals, to discuss their proposal.

Pinder and Hanan sent a package to Mr. Papa, which included a prototype of their suggested new award and a letter that read, "This is not just a design tweak for one year, to be seen to be doing 'the right thing.' This is a symbol of change and equality…" The pair suggested that the new statue be "a constant reminder of the power of parity in our industry."

Mr. Papa is travelling so has not seen the prototype statue, but he responded by email, "Would love to get together to discuss the idea, maybe after I have got this festival out of the way -- it's my first so you can imagine I am snowed under learning the ropes!"

With the festival only 10 weeks away, Mr. Papa added that it was too late for any new initiatives in 2017.

Mark St. Andrew, Cannes' head of editorial output, also emailed a response to Hanan and Pinder, after he had seen the package. He wrote, "It's certainly an interesting idea! Naturally we welcome anything that raises the profile of the industry diversity discussion."

The #CallForEquality campaign has gained traction on social media, including a tweet from gender equality campaigner Cindy Gallop.

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