Salma Hayek took Cannes on Tuesday to speak out about sexism, saying Hollywood treats women like performing monkeys.
During her talk for the Kering ‘Women in Motion’ series at the Cannes Film Festival taking place at the Majestic Hotel, the actress said that the industry is okay with a woman being beautiful, but once they start to speak with intelligence, the “macho” film executives get angry and want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
“There is this thing that it’s true that maybe if you’re pretty you can get parts easier but it’s really violent to assume if you are pretty, you are stupid,” the ‘Frida’ star said, adding that they see women as monkeys, and they don’t know what to do once they realise the monkey can talk.
She added that once women started speaking their mind and seeking equal pay, they were no longer wanted, and qualified the gender pay gap in society as “violence against women.” Only that men do not see it as violence because it has become accepted as the normality.
Hayek remarked how sexism is just a sample of ignorance in the industry
To the 50-year-old actress, the industry is missing an important mark when they put women, including directors and producers, aside.
She revealed that movie executives have failed to observe how the female demographic develops. In the industry, women make up 80 percent of the decision-makers of what film or TV show should be made, released, aired or watched. “Women work, we make money and we all want to go out and have fun much more than before, and they have not capitalized on that,” the actress and also producer said.
She said the industry has still not realized about women’s economic power and keeps ignoring the huge audience they represent, so they just don’t what they’re into and what they want to watch.
This position, sadly, extends to women themselves. “We don’t even know because we always think of who will be watching the movie with – the husband, the family, the children,” she added.
Hayek did not miss the chance to throw Cannes some critics
Hayek praised Europe, and particularly France where a quarter of films are directed by women, but shared how she does not see that talent reflected at the French Riviera film festival.
“In the 70 years of the Cannes Film Festival only one female has ever won the Palme d’Or and she only got half the Palme d’Or, not even a full one – she had to share it with a Chinese man,” the actress declared.
Hayek was referring to Jane Campion, who won the prestigious award in 1993 for her impeccable work with her film ‘The Piano,’ but had to share it with Chen Kaige for the film ‘Farewell My Concubine.’
It’s been 24 years since a woman got on stage to accept the festival’s top prize.