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Salma Hayek is getting real when it comes to battling sexism in film. Speaking at the Variety and UN Women's panel discussion on gender equality during the Cannes Film Festival, the actress was not holding back in her critique of the industry and the challenges women face, on screen and off.
"For a long time they thought the only thing we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies," she said when asked about female audiences, according to TIME (opens in new tab). "They don't see us as a powerful economic force, which is an incredible ignorance."
When it came to discussions of gender on screen and getting paid less than her male counterparts, she continued: "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."
But according to Hayek, getting more females in the industry is only half the battle. The other half is fought with the purchase of movie tickets and number of streams.
"Our pay can never go up because we never get the opportunity to show what we can bring in revenue. We can't stand as victims and say we need to make them aware of women. Because guess what? They don't care," she said, according to The Telegraph (opens in new tab). "There's only one thing that inspires the people and the power in the industry, and that's money. They have to understand how powerful we are economically."
Boom! We just hoped she dropped her mic after that one.
Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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