Salma Hayek Talks About Sexism and ‘Incredible Ignorance’ in Hollywood

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Salma Hayek has added her voice to the long list of women denouncing sexism in Hollywood. At an event hosted by Variety at the Cannes Film Festival, Hayek talked about everything from the wage gap to male co-stars getting approval over her casting.

“For a long time they thought the only thing we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies,” said Hayek, who is starring in Tale of Tales. “They don’t see us as a powerful economic force, which is an incredible ignorance.”

Actresses Parker Posey and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and producers Christine Vachon and Elizabeth Karlsen joined Hayek on the panel, which was co-hosted the by the U.N. Women’s HeForShe campaign. Vachon and Karlsen both worked on the film Carol, a lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, which is premiering at Cannes.

“Certainly there’s a huge question mark,” Karlsen said about the pressure she feels is on Carol. “It’s female-led. It’s a lesbian romance. There’s a huge wave of expectation.”

Over the past few weeks, more and more women have spoken out about sexist treatment in Hollywood. The ACLU recently asked federal and state agencies to formally investigate discriminatory hiring practices in film and television.

“The only kind of movie where women make more than men is the porno industry,” Hayek said. “It’s simple ignorance.”

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