Salma Hayek: ‘Cinema Undermines Women’s Intelligence’

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Salma Hayek. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Speaking over the weekend at a Cannes panel on gender equality (put on by UN Women), Salma Hayek argued that sexism in Hollywood won’t end until the film industry recognizes “how powerful [women] are economically.”

Calling Hollywood “incredibly ignorant” when it comes to women and equality, Hayek spoke frankly. “There’s only one thing that inspires people and the power in the industry, and that’s money,” she said. “The only kind of film where women make more money than men is porno. It’s not funny … they think the only value we bring to a movie is as an object.”

Hayek argued that male actors get all the credit when a movie does well financially, noting that male leads often are granted the power to veto actresses set to appear alongside them. Discussing her own experience, she said that she’s seen her characters' lines get “dumbed down” so as not to upstage male actors.

“Cinema undermines women’s intelligence,” she concluded. “It’s been doing it for some time now.”