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Premiere of new Kristen Stewart film erupted into violence and chaos after mass walkout
Featured Image Credit: A24 / X/@lululatuile

Premiere of new Kristen Stewart film erupted into violence and chaos after mass walkout

Attendees have spoken out about the ordeal

Warning: This article contains discussion of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community which some readers may find distressing.

A premiere of a new Kristen Stewart film in Belgium descended into chaos - leading to a mass walkout.

The movie was being screened at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) when a barrage of horrendous homophobic and misogynistic comments caused widespread disruption.

The A24-produced thriller - called Love Lies Bleeding - drew a massive audience to the 1,400-seat auditorium.

While this was a predominantly female and queer crowd, there was a small contingent of misogynists hellbent on ruining the screening for others.

According to Variety, various same sex romance scenes in the flick drew 'homophobic heckles and jeers' at the premiere.

The film's synopsis reads: "Lou (Kristen Stewart) is a reclusive gym manager who falls hard for Jackie (Katy M. O'Brian), an ambitious bodybuilder who's heading to Las Vegas to pursue her dream. Their love soon leads to violence as they get pulled deep into the web of Lou's criminal family."

Disgustingly, one scene in Love Lies Bleeding which displays ‘sexual coercion’ was met with the cheers by a small portion of the crowd.

A statement provided by the attendees to Variety said: “We know the difference between standard jokes and lesbophobic insults and commentary.

“When audience members applaud during [what we feel to be] a rape scene, when they pantomime masturbation and catcall the actresses on screen by shouting ‘get naked,’ ‘she wants c**k,’ ‘disgusting,’ and ‘dirty d***s’ at the slightest scene of lesbian intimacy, once spectators stand up to leave the theater or ask for respect, only to be booed, insulted and physically assaulted, and once dozens of lesbians leave the theatre in tears, dirtied, degraded and shocked, we can’t speak of a ‘good-natured’ atmosphere.”

Ed Harris stars in Love Lies Bleeding. (A24)
Ed Harris stars in Love Lies Bleeding. (A24)

While some members of the crowd walked out from about 20 minutes onwards due to the atmosphere, others began arguing - with a few even engaging in physical fights.

In total between 60 and 80 attendees walked out and started protesting the screening, requesting it be cut short when they were refused refunds.

Attendee Elina Fischer told Variety: “Things spun wildly out of hand… we were afraid for our lives.

“The kinds of people who say such things during a film screening are the kinds of people who assault us. So, we got scared and had to get out.”

The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival has confirmed to Variety that police were called to break up the protest.

Kristen Stewart stars in the A24 film. (A24)
Kristen Stewart stars in the A24 film. (A24)

Jonathon Lenaerts, of the BIFFF, said: “We have a duty to contextualize.

"To make sure that all communities feel welcome and on the same footing.

“The humor in the room should never be targeted and mean spirited, and all exceptions are intolerable.

“To be frank, a gram of s**t will spoil a kilo of caviar, and right now, we’re going to do everything we can to remove that gram of s**t.

“We will take direct measures: If someone makes inappropriate comments, they’ll be immediately thrown out.”

Elina went on to say: “This film represents us.

“It was made for and by our community, so to have our experience ruined by homophobes is terrible.

“We all feel very sad, shocked and angry, because we feel that our position cannot exist without attack. [The fight against] homophobia still has a long way to go.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT national hotline at 888-843-4564, available Monday to Friday 4pm-12am ET and 12pm-5pm ET on Saturdays.

Topics: Film and TV, Celebrity, LGBTQ