Who is Maria Travel? Outrage over K-pop idol IU being pushed by French influencer at Cannes

K-pop fans slam French beauty influencer Maria Travel after she pushed IU on the red carpet at the 75th Cannes Film Festival


                            Who is Maria Travel? Outrage over K-pop idol IU being pushed by French influencer at Cannes
French influencer called out for pushing K-pop idol and actress IU (Lee Ji-eun) at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet event (@mariatravel/Instagram; Dispatch Korea)
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Trust K-pop fans to fight for their faves — they will deliver in the blink of an eye. K-pop soloist and actress IU, who is also known by her birth name Lee Ji-eun, is a peak example of cultivating such a devoted fanbase. Fans of the singer had her back when she appeared at the 75th Cannes International Film Festival. IU is well known as a soloist and is often called the 'Nation's Sister' in the K-pop industry, all thanks to her fandom, Uaenas. A video from the festival is doing the rounds on Twitter that has fans of IU claiming that she was a victim of aggression at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Aside from being a singer, IU is also well-known as an actress all thanks to her successful K-dramas like 'The Producers', 'Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart', 'My Mister' as well as 'Hotel Del Luna'. IU recently featured in the Song Kang-ho starrer 'Broker' film as the character So-young. It was her first lead role in a film. The movie premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and it has been reported that the movie received a 10-minute-long standing ovation from the audience at the film festival. 

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Song Kang-Ho, Director Hirokazu Koreeda, IU (Lee Ji-eun), Joo-Young Lee and Dong-won Gang depart the screening of 'Broker' during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2022 in Cannes, France ( Joe Maher/Getty Images)

French Influencer under fire for 'pushing IU'

The cast of 'Broker' was invited to the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and IU appeared with actors Song Kang-ho, Kang Dong-won, Lee Joo-young, and Japanese filmmaker, Hirokazu Kore-eda. IU was having a conversation with co-star Lee Joo-young when, out of the blue, a young blonde woman, later revealed to be a French beauty influencer, Maria Travel, bumped into IU. The live video caught Maria Travel as she passed between IU and Joo-young, bumping into IU who was facing forward and was conversing with her costar with her head turned over her shoulder.

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A clip of IU being pushed at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet (Naver)

The video shows the influencer pushing IU with her shoulder to move forward in the crowd. What made matters worse was that Travel, despite shoving IU, moved ahead without apologizing to the K-pop idol. Moreover, the footage revealed that IU was caught off-guard by the incident after she was pushed out of her original position due to the impact of the shove. As soon as the video was released online, fans started calling the influencer out for her behavior as the accident seemed to be an 'act of aggression.' Fans also claimed the incident was not an accident and appeared to be a racist attack.

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Knetz troll the influencer for pushing IU (Dispatch Korea, Nate Pann)

Influencer apologizes for pushing IU unintentionally

Although there has been no complaint from IU's end as the singer laughed off the shove, K-pop fans were out for blood. The expression on the face of the influencer and the lack of remorse she showed after pushing someone, had fans calling Maria Travel out on the accident. After being blasted online by IU's fans, the influencer released a video on her Instagram story apologizing for the incident.

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The influencer apologized for pushing IU on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival red carpet (@mariatravel/Instagram; Dispatch Korea)


Maria said, "I'm not good at English, but I will do my best to speak. I want to apologize for what happened on the red carpet today." The influencer added, "I want to apologize to actress Lee Ji-eun. It was my mistake to hit her. I sincerely apologize." She went on to tag IU's Instagram handle (@dlwlrma) on the story and captioned the post with, "I am really sorry for what happened at the Red Carpet today."

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Who is Maria Travel?

According to the Instagram bio on @mariartravel, Maria Travel is a beauty influencer and makeup artist with ties to a TV show on the French TV channel W9. In her second Instagram account, devoted to her makeup pursuits, she also claims to be a "health and rejuvenation trainer" who shows her clients "how to lift your face, without surgery or Injections."  

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In another long post on Instagram, Maria details how she got to work as a makeup artist at Cannes. Describing it as a "magical place where my dreams came true," she revealed that she first came to Cannes on her own "without knowing anyone and practically without money." She added, "I wanted so much to work as a professional makeup artist for the stars but it was very difficult without contacts and experience." Her first big break came when she was asked to create a makeup look for Russian actress and celebrity Victoria Bonya for a photoshoot. She has since been working as a makeup artist at the festival and was therefore on the Cannes red carpet.

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