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

99-year-old asks police to arrest her, loves it

A police Facebook post has gone viral

by Amy Swales
01 Mar 2017

Casey Affleck addresses his controversial Oscars win

Brie Larson famously refused to applaud the actor's win, in an act of silent protest

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Mar 2017

Retired banker releases her first app (oh, and she's 81)

“You too can have a wonderful silver life.”

by Amy Swales
01 Mar 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Kate Beckinsale's 'mundane' Monday to North West's new hobby

by Nicola Colyer
01 Mar 2017

You have to read Rihanna’s powerful speech about humanitarianism

She just accepted Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year award.

by Moya Crockett
01 Mar 2017

Emma Watson has a good reason for never talking about her love life

The Beauty and the Beast star discusses paparazzi and social media

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Mar 2017

Sarah Silverman reveals why she chose not to have children

“You can't be a woman without sacrifice”

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Mar 2017

Lisa Kudrow reveals real reason we won’t ever get a Friends reunion

We may hate to admit it, but she might have a point…

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Mar 2017

Watch James Corden’s hilarious spoof of that La La Land blunder

“Here’s to the ones who lose… god, I need so much booze”

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Feb 2017

Ebola fighter named Person of the Year dies in childbirth

“The one-year-old, the newborn, they will grow up never remembering their mother's face.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
28 Feb 2017