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Cannes Festival under fire for using RANDOM person's photo instead of IU's at 'Broker' premiere

Actress and singer Lee Jieun, popularly known at IU, was disrespected at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival a second time, this time by the producers
UPDATED MAY 28, 2022
Fans call the Cannes Film Festival 'unprofessional' for using the photo of a stranger in place of the actress's portrait (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Fans call the Cannes Film Festival 'unprofessional' for using the photo of a stranger in place of the actress's portrait (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious and talked about film events in the world but it seems like Asian artists will have to wait for another year to be respected at the fest. The team of the 2022 film, ‘Broker’, was invited to the competition section of the festival where the cast held an official press conference at the Palais des Festival on the morning of May 27. At the 75th Cannes Film Festival, South Korean actors like Song Kang-ho IU (Lee Ji-eun), Kang Dong-won, Lee Joo-young, and Japanese filmmaker, Hirokazu Kore-eda.

The cast initially greeted their contemporaries and fans by attending the red carpet followed by the premiere. Fans were overwhelmed by the love the movie received when it was reported that ‘Broker’ got a 10-minute-long standing ovation at the premiere. But it seems like K-pop idol and actress IU (Lee Ji-eun) was disrespected a second time at the same event. Initially, a video went viral online where a French influencer was seen shoving the singer with her shoulder and walking away without apologizing.


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IU at the photocall for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

IU disrespected by the Cannes Film Festival

The influencer was hunted down by Uaenas (fans of IU) and was made to apologize to the singer, immediately resolving the issue. Soon after that, it was reported that the singer suffered embarrassment at the hands of the production team of the Cannes film festival. On May 27, when IU and the cast of ‘Broker’ gathered together for a press conference, a photocall of the entire cast was distributed to the journalists that attended the event in a pre-released document. In the document, the names of director Hirokazu Kore-eda and actors Song Kang-ho, Lee Ji-eun, Lee Joo-young, and Kang Dong-won were mentioned, along with portraits of photographers from different countries.

Instead of using a photo of IU, the Cannes Film Festival used the portrait of a stranger for the photocall for the movie 'Broker' (JTBC, Dispatch Korea)

This was to ensure that all attendees of the event would be able to name the person on the basis of the photos on the document. But the biggest blunder the production made was by adding the image of an unknown person in place of IU’s. This is not the first time that the festival has made such an error and it seems like this mistake seems to be a recurring event with South Korean artists in particular. Back in 2019 when the cast of the movie, ‘Parasite’, visited Cannes, the portrait of actress Jang Hye-jin's was replaced with that of an archery player, Jang Hye-jin.

With the South Korean Entertainment industry being rather new at the time, it was understandable for the festival production to have made an error with photographs of artists but now, three years after the first mistake, it seems like they have not learned any better. Adding to the fact that IU is one of the biggest South Korean soloists, the mistake from the Cannes Film Festival was not taken kindly by fans of K-pop as it caused discomfort and embarrassment to the actress.

The cast of 'Broker' attend the press conference at the 75th Cannes Film Festival (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

‘So unprofessional’

Fans are surprised by the mistake and are calling the festival production for not being able to do the bare minimum. One fan said, “Lol, they probably misspelled her name and up popped someone else. Don't they get the press kit to double check.” Another fan said, “The internet is free. What are they doing lol.” One more fan asked, “Research team, what happened?” One fan said, “Wow, you would think @Festival_Cannes would hire the best people.” One more fan said, “@Festival_Cannes she'll literally pop up first when u look her up on google. Shame.” One fan said, “What a low level mistake. So unprofessional.” Another fan argued, “She’s literally south korea’s most famous soloist and they couldn’t get a picture? …. Yeah they didn’t even try. @Festival_Cannes this looks very very bad.”

One more fan asked, “It's IU, how can you not find a correct photo?” One more fan asked, “So are they just lazy people or on purpose? I suspect they did it on purpose. I mean, it's so ridiculous that it's always Jieun. They repeatedly mispronounced Jieun's name, mistyped Jieun's name, and now put Jieun's photo wrong. It's always Jieun/IU.” A fan said, “How was it easier for them to find that instead of a proper picture that'd literally show up on a literal first search? It isn't even hard to type IU and pick one picture out of so many. That's on being incompetent.”