Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Salma Hayek: Harvey Weinstein is trying to discredit women of colour

Salma Hayek: Harvey Weinstein is trying to discredit women of colour

Salma Hayek says actors must take pay cuts if they're serious about gender equality. The actress, for instance, said she'd sold four television shows about women just this year.

"So, he went attacking the two women of colour, in hopes that if he could discredit us, he could then maybe discredit the rest", Hayek told Variety during Women In Motion panel discussion at Cannes Film Festival.

The actor believes Weinstein had cast a long shadow over the industry.

According to Hayek, however, it is not just women who have suffered as a outcome of powerful men abusing their positions.

"I can't find enough female writers and directors", Hayek said.

The 51-year-old actor was one of the dozens of women who came forward in 2017 to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment. "You feel it. It's a very palpable atmosphere", she added. "Otherwise they will kill the movie".

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Speaking at Cannes, Hayek said Weinstein specifically contested her claim and that of Lupita Nyong'o because they are women of colour.

The actress said of herself and Nyong'o, who accused Weinstein of sexually harassing her back in 2011: "We are the easiest to get discredited". Regarding Hayek, the mogul's spokesperson said, "all of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired".

Weinstein also responded by name to Ashley Judd, in an interview with the New York Post in early October. In subsequent months, his team also disputed Rose McGowan's rape allegation and released a series of photos of Weinstein with accuser Uma Thurman meant to "demonstrate the strong relationship Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Thurman had had over the years".

Some are skeptical that reducing men's pay is the way to gender parity, saying that in most industries, the pay gap emerges when men get high-skilled jobs and when women take time away from the job market to have children.

Unless they made sacrifices, she said, "it is going to be hard for equality".

She added she found the protest - in which more than 80 women stood on the red carpet - visually arresting: "I was really moved to see physically - which is the best way to do it, because cinema is about visual images - and I think that we talk a lot, but this image, yeah, it looked like we were a lot".

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