Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

‘The only kind of film where women make more money than men is porno’ Salma Hayek calls out inequality in film

rexfeatures_4775568ai.jpg

Salma Hayek has come out as Hollywood’s latest feminist whistle-blower, following comments she made at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Speaking at a panel organised by Variety magazine and the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, the actor, who stars in Matteo Garonne’s Italian horror, The Tale of Tales, debuting at the festival, critiqued all elements of the film industry. She referenced citing sexist directors, the wage gap, and casting methods, as problems to be resolved.

Hayek, who has also worked as a director and producer - most notably for multi-award winning 2002 Frida Khalo biopic, Frida - made a rallying cry for gender equality in film, arguing that “cinema undermines women’s intelligence”.

“For a long time they thought the only thing we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies,” Hayek said. “They don’t see us as a powerful economic force.”

Salma Hayek Ugly Betty

The actor starred in Ugly Betty with America Ferrera

Hayek outed the Hollywood casting process as “very sexist”, telling of her experience on one occasion when a director approached her for a role and subsequently sought confirmation of her by the male lead. “They get approval of leading ladies. The dude didn’t approve me and I got kicked out.”

The Ugly Betty star’s primary bug-bear was the continuing pay gap problem in the film industry, between men and women playing equivalent roles. Hayek challenged Hollywood to open its eyes and see female actors as the monetary force they could be. “They have to understand how powerful we are economically. We have the power to show them we can save this film industry,” she said, but even when a woman does land a leading role, “the dude takes the credit.” “It’s simple, plain ignorance.”

“They think the only value we bring to a movie is as an object. The only kind of film where women make more money than men is porno. It’s not funny.” Well, we’re not laughing, either.

The Mexican-born American was criticised last year for disassociating herself from the word “feminist” but in an interview in The Guardian this year, said: “I am a feminist because I love women and I am ready to fight for women”.

 

Related

salma.jpg

Salma Hayek; 'I would die if I did nothing but manicures and lunches'

rexfeatures_502975as.jpg

Celebrity best friends: stars reveal the female friendships that have

Untitled-23.jpg

Behind-the-scenes look at the Golden Globes

Comments

More

Ellen DeGeneres returning to stand-up comedy with Netflix special

The 'funniest person in America' returns

by Nicola Colyer
26 May 2017

Homeless man who helped injured in Manchester attack offered rent

“He’s helped a lot of people, if I can help him, that’s really it.”

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017

Bataclan survivor offers words of hope to Manchester attack witnesses

“I want to tell you something that may seem hard to believe right now: it gets better.”

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From antics in Cannes to Reese Witherspoon's mother-son selfie

by Nicola Colyer
25 May 2017

Diane Kruger says she’s “never been paid as much as a male co-star”

She's been working in Hollywood for 16 years. Just let that sink in.

by Moya Crockett
25 May 2017

Elizabeth Banks is directing a Charlie’s Angels reboot

And it’s finally got an official release date

by Moya Crockett
25 May 2017

Millennials, Helen Mirren has shared her top 5 rules for a happy life

And they're seriously badass

by Kayleigh Dray
24 May 2017

Melania Trump once again refuses to hold her husband's hand on camera

President Donald Trump has tried to grab his wife’s hand twice on camera – and been expertly swatted away each time

by Kayleigh Dray
24 May 2017

People share messages of defiance after Manchester terror attack

“Don't be afraid. Dance until you're dizzy”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 May 2017

The Royal Family thank people of Manchester following terror attack

“I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded”

by Amy Swales
23 May 2017