Updated 09:43 AM EDT, Mon, Jul 13, 2020

Salma Hayek on Hollywood Sexism: Women Only Make More Than Men in Porn

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More and more women are speaking up about gender inequality in Hollywood, with the latest among them being Mexican movie star Salma Hayek.

At Variety's Saturday afternoon event at the Cannes Film Festival, the "Tale of Tales" actress said that sexism in Hollywood is still very much present. In fact, Hayek insists that she still experiences it even though she has established herself as one of the movie industry's A-list actresses.

"For a long time they thought the only thing we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies," Hayek said in Variety's panel hosted by the U.N. Women's HeForShe campaign. "They don't see us as a powerful economic force, which is an incredible ignorance. The only kind of movie where women make more than men is the porno industry."

The 48-year-old star joined actresses Parker Posey and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and producers Christine Vachon and Elizabeth Karlsen, Variety wrote. Vachon and Karlsen both worked on the film "Carol," a lesbian 1950s love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and is premiering at Cannes.

Hayek also revealed that she didn't get acting jobs because A-list actors were granted approval over an actress' involvement in the cast, whereas women don't have the similar privilege. She added that studio executives often refuse to make a movie which has women as its lead stars, the news outlet added.

"They don't know what we want to see," Hayek said in the Variety panel. "When women don't direct and women don't write and tell our own stories, we stopped going to the movies and started watching them on television."

As for how Hollywood sexism can be solved, Hayek had some ideas she discussed in a May 17 interview for The Hollywood Reporter's "Women In Motion" talks.

"There's a very simple answer and really a very simple solution," she suggested, as quoted by the news outlet. "You get [men] involved the same way that you get men involved in anything and the only way you can inspire them: money."

Hayek added that showing Hollywood execs that women are "an economic force" helps too, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Further discussing about gender inequality among actors and actresses, she said that men "do not like it when the female character is strong," the news outlet reported.

She continued, "Most of the big stars in their contracts have approval of their leading ladies. The fact that he gets a say in who he gets to kiss I find is very sexist."

Hayek also recounted about one incident when a Hollywood boss told her that she could be a huge star because of her talent and good looks, but her Mexican accent could remind people of their maids, adding that "she was born in the wrong country," The Hollywood Reported noted. However, the actress said that she appreciated the studio exec's sincerity.

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