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Cate Blanchett Wants You to Ask Men About How to Fix Sexism in Hollywood

By Emma Chance | Film | May 20, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | Film | May 20, 2024 |


Cate Blanchett is tired of the status quo in Hollywood.

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” she said at the Cannes Film Festival Kering Women in Motion Talks. “I do the head count, and I’m back in the same place, working with men who I love working with and respect, [but] I’m walking on set and there’s 50 people on set and there’s three women. When is this going to deeply, profoundly shift?”

Blanchett is attending the festival this year to promote her new film Rumours as well as her filmmaking initiative Proof of Concept, “an accelerator program she co-founded last year to elevate the perspectives of women, trans and nonbinary people” by backing their films. She believes in funding underrepresented voices because “Their point of view, in whatever story, in whatever genre they tell it, will be different from somebody who has grown up [as a] white middle-class male,” she says. “It’s a different perspective. They’ll put the camera in a different place in the room. And I think that’s really exciting.”

She also said she’s tired of the double standard when it comes to female filmmakers taking risks and doing something experimental or new.

“The industry, the more it embraces being risk-averse, the more it’s doomed to being full of banal failures. Anytime that I personally have advanced in my career, it is when I have taken risks. And it’s just that a lot of our male counterparts in the industry are applauded for their risks and their bravery. And they’re given $100 million and all the male actors are taking incredible risks that may not have worked, but God!”

She’d like to see an industry that gives women the space to make hits as well as flops. Male filmmakers are allowed to make movies that don’t perform well at the box office and keep making movies, but for women, failure isn’t an option.

And she’s happy to talk about this and to help make changes, by the way, but she wishes more men were asked about it too.

“There seems to be in the media, in particular, a sense of ‘Haven’t we discussed that?’ And it’s like, I feel the same way. Like, the amount of times that women are in press conferences, say at a festival like this, and they get asked about women’s representation in films. And there are two men sitting on this panel, I would love for you to ask them that question.”

She concluded by conceding that, yes, it’s her “problem” because it’s her “reality.”

“But why are you asking me to solve it?”