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Why Is Emma Stone Being Questioned About Her Contributions to Feminism at Cannes?

By Emma Chance | Celebrity | May 20, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | Celebrity | May 20, 2024 |


This year’s Cannes Film Festival is part of a long tradition, but the #MeToo movement is new to France.

“For reasons I can’t explain, it took much longer in France than in the U.S. for women to dare to speak out, and maybe it also took longer for women to be heard,” said Iris Knobloch, president of Cannes Film Festival. “I think that for many societal evolutions, Europe is still a little behind the United States. We’re catching up a little later, and it’s not even just a French issue.”

France has seen “intermittent moments where the movement appeared to be gathering force” in the past few years, but Cannes “has sometimes struggled to keep pace with where society was headed, failing to strike the right tone when it comes to welcoming problematic performers and filmmakers,” like Woody Allen and Johnny Depp.

American director Greta Gerwig is serving as jury president this year, and she spoke about the changing mood of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood.

“I have seen substantive change in the American film community. It’s only moving everything in the correct direction,” she said.

All this unrest has led to some awkward questioning of actresses on the Cannes red carpet. Emma Stone is in attendance with director Yorgos Lanthimos for Kinds of Kindness. Stone and Lanthimos have collaborated on several projects now, including her Oscar-winning role in Poor Things, but when asked if she was his muse, she responded, “He’s my muse.”

“I feel like I can do anything with him because we’ve worked together so many times,” she said. “I trust him beyond the trust I’ve had with any director, and I’ve been lucky to work with great directors.”

She was then asked “how her work with Lanthimos contributed to feminism and activism,” a stretch if I’ve ever heard one.

“How do you think I contribute to feminism?” she responded good-naturedly. She explained that she doesn’t pick movies for the “message” but “because she finds the worlds and characters interesting” before concluding, “I’m a feminist, and I like working with Yorgos Lanthamos. I guess that’s activism.” It’s a better answer than I could have come up with.