Cannes 2018: Female stars protest on red carpet for equal rights

Virginia Carson
May 15, 2018

Salma Hayek has said that the reason Harvey Weinstein denied her and Lupita Nyong'o's sexual harassment claims is because they're women of colour.

Hayek said men should not be afraid of change in the gender balance.

The interview took place the day after Hayek walked the Cannes red carpet with the likes of Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay, and actresses Kristen Stewart, Jane Fonda, Cate Blanchett, and Marion Cotillard, as part of a group of 82 women protesting gender inequality.

Salma Hayek wants to close the pay gap in Hollywood, but she acknowledges that it's going to take a lot of work to make that happen.

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"Ask what women are paid, and say, 'If she's not paid the same as the men, I'm not doing it'".

Hayek also sees the activism of the #MeToo Movement carrying over into other causes, such as the calls for gun control in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, shooting. "You feel it. It's a very palpable atmosphere".

Hayek said her production company was having trouble keeping up with the demand for female writers and directors.

"We couldn't have done it without a few good men, like my husband", she said, adding that it was "so sexy and unnerving when he comes up with ideas that I should have".

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"But also the actors have to work together because if the male actors are asking for such big numbers, that part of it belongs a little bit to the women and in the past it was never given and the movie doesn't get done because they can not pay the actors what they were making.The actors have to say 'OK, time's up, I had a good run but now it's time to also be generous with the actresses in the films'".

The 51-year-old actor was one of the dozens of women who came forward in 2017 to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment. Hayek added. "So, he went back, attacking the two women of color ... if he could discredit us, which would be easier for the audience, the readers to not believe us, he could then maybe discredit the rest".

"Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise [.] We stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination and progress".

"We should have been angrier soon".

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"I think it's an invitation for us to think differently and to act differently", she said.

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