Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Other Women Protest Cannes Gender Gap

The recent wave of #MeToo movement protests came at the Cannes Film Festival today.

Actresses, directors, producers and other film industry women came together to protest gender inequality by walking the steps to the Théâtre Debussy, pausing and silently facing the Palais.

women, cannes film festival, protest
Women protesting at the Cannes Film Festival.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

The protest’s intent, according to organizers, was to draw attention to the difficulties women face both socially and professionally in the film industry.

“This festival has had a very mixed track record — and that’s being generous — related to women, from the starlets who are sent to yachts to meet with rich men to the sexual assaults that have occured during the festival to its continuous lack of opportunities for women in the main competition,” journalist and participant Melissa Silverstein said to Vanity Fair. “That this festival has finally taken note of the huge gender disparity in this business can only help move the dial forward.”

protest, cannes film festival, #metoo
Women protesting on the steps leading up to the Théâtre Debussy.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

82 women are participating — a number chosen intentionally, as only 82 female-directed films have been honored by an official selection in competition at the festival, compared to over 1,600 films directed by men. Among the participants are stars including Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayek and Jane Fonda.

Of the women participating, Cate Blanchett and Agnès Varda are reading a statement.

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