According to a volunteer, who remained nameless in the Globe and Mail, Madonna forced a group of volunteers to look away as she made her way backstage to a press conference.

Madonna-TIFF 2011-Red Carpet W.ETeam Madonna has vehemently denied that such actions were taken and that Madonna would never ask anyone to do that.  For once, I believe it.  If you follow my blog, you will know that I do not go to Red Carpets because I prefer to see them by chance.   If I don’t get them, so be it. If I do, that’s a bonus for me.

However, since the festival has taken the press conferences to new locations, where there are underground arrivals and hotel’s with huge valet areas, I did go to a few Red Carpets this year.

I’m not a huge fan of Madonna as a person, but as a musician I idolize her.  The whole hydrangea incident was completely lost when they released a new statement that Madonna truly does hate hydrangea’s and disregarded the fact that she should have said that behind closed doors not to insult the fan that gave the flower to her.

I have to admit that Madonna was amazing with her fans.  She spent a greater amount of time with her fans than Robert De Niro, but did not graze the whole red carpet like George Clooney.  If you see the horrible pictures I took, you will also see the huge entourage of security and staff with her.

I cannot help but wonder how much of a role TIFF played in this rumour.  I was a volunteer last year, which I have signed my life to secrecy or be banished to the gates of hell.  I was by no means impressed with my experience and I commend those that do volunteer year after year.  Policies and procedures just isn’t for me.  With that said, it would not surprise me if SOMEONE did ask them to divert their attention elsewhere and not gawk at her when she passed by.

No, I do not believe this story.  I would love to know who in fact instituted this ruling.  I hope this story is followed by the media until the truth is released.

I do have a funny story to share because I think I was the only one to see the back of a volunteer shirt during a Madonna appearance.

The TIFF media line, at the Roy Thompson Hall, runs parallel to the gated area of awaiting fans.  At the end of the line, there is a door where the celebrity can peek out at their fans one last time.  I had a prime spot for one final wave from her should she choose to appear.

Madonna did come out and wave, as I was taking my picture, a volunteer decided to get a better view.  This was the result of my final attempt to get a picture of Madonna close up.

In front of this volunteer, is a smiling Madonna waving to her fans.

This gentleman was not denied viewing her or asked to turn away.  He made sure he got one last look.

What do I say despite my own disappointment?  Good on him!  He’s worked hard for it.

Here’s to all the Toronto Film Festival Volunteers and the time, effort, and secrecy that they commit to throughout TIFF!

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