A Ukrainian fitness influencer claims she has been banned from Cannes Film Festival after pouring fake blood on herself in the middle of the Promenade de la Croisette. After ascending the carpeted staircase, Ilona Chernobai removed a bag of red liquid hidden beneath her dress and ripped it open above her head, before being escorted off the premises by three security guards.
Chernobai posted a video of the incident to her 1 million Instagram followers, with a caption that read: “I succeeded in fulfilling my mission.”
“I took my chance with this act and reminded what is happening in Ukraine,” wrote Chernobai, “The action was in support of the occupied territories and our people who live there.”
Ahead of the festival, the local authorities in Cannes issued a ban on protests and rallies in an effort to protect the glamorous event. Yet despite the official crackdown, Chernobai’s stunt was just one of a number of political demonstrations. On Sunday, demonstrators gathered on the edge of the city to march in opposition of President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. Last week, an activist from the radical feminist group SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) broke onto the red carpet to stage an anti-surrogacy protest with a barcode painted on her stomach.
At the beginning of the festival, the war on Ukraine was honored by Ukrainian journalist Elvira Gavrilova who wore a blue and yellow, off-the-shoulder gown reminiscent of the national flag, designed by Kazakhstani label Arunaz Atelier.
Despite controversy, Chernobai’s stunt evoked an emotional response on social media with commenters praising her act of courage. “I have tears in my eyes,” wrote one user. “Our Ukraine and our people are invincible!” Added another.