Kelly Rowland alleges racial profiling in Cannes film festival usher incident

<span>Kelly Rowland speaking to one of the ushers at the premiere for Marcello Mio.</span><span>Photograph: David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Kelly Rowland speaking to one of the ushers at the premiere for Marcello Mio.Photograph: David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock

Kelly Rowland, the Destiny’s Child singer who has gone on to have a successful acting and solo singing career, has addressed a highly publicised incident at the Cannes film festival where she argued with a festival usher, suggesting she was racially profiled.

Rowland was attending the premiere of Catherine Deneuve film Marcello Mio on Tuesday, where she smiled and waved to fans and photographers on the red carpet. She was then led up stairs by a pair of ushers who formed a barrier with their arms behind her. Rowland turned to one of the ushers and spoke sternly to her with an outstretched finger.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Rowland said on Thursday: “I have a boundary, and I stand by those boundaries, and that is it. And there were other women that attended that carpet who did not quite look like me, and they didn’t get scolded or pushed off or told to get off. I stood my ground, and she felt like she had to stand hers, but I stood my ground.”

Organisers have not commented on the incident. The Guardian has contacted the festival for comment.

Rowland became internationally famous as a member of Destiny’s Child, recording five studio albums including Survivor which topped the US and UK charts. Away from the group she had a number of successes as a solo artist, including the Nelly duet Dilemma and David Guetta collaboration When Love Takes Over, both of them UK No 1s.

She also has a big-screen acting career stretching back to 2003 horror Freddy Vs Jason. Her most recent role was playing the lead in Tyler Perry-directed Netflix thriller Mea Culpa, released in February.

Rowland has since appeared at other Cannes events this year, including a gala for Aids research foundation amfAR and at the premiere of a new adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.