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Cate Blanchett and Those Who The #MeToo Movement Leaves Out

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May 16 2018, Published 7:47 p.m. ET

This year’s Cannes Film Festival kicked off with Cate Blanchett as president of the Jury. On Saturday, May 12, she and 81 women marched on the stairs of the Palais des Festivals in protest of gender inequality in the film industry. The 82 women “represent each of the 82 films directed by women that have been in the official selection in the whole of the 71-year-competition—meanwhile 1,645 films have been directed by men.”

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Cate Blanchett and iconic French filmmaker, Agnes Varda, read the following statement during the festival:

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“On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946. In the same period, 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival, there have been 12 female heads of its juries. The prestigious Palme d’Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors — too numerous to mention by name — but only two women: Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit, and Agnès Varda, who stands with us today.

These facts are stark and undeniable. Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise. As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress. We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts. We stand in solidarity with women of all industries.

We will expect our institutions to actively provide parity and transparency in their executive bodies and safe environments in which to work. We will expect our governments to make sure that the laws of equal pay for equal work are upheld. We will demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so that they can best reflect the world in which we actually live. A world that allows all of us behind and in front of the camera to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues. We acknowledge all of the women and men who are standing for change. The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all. Let’s climb.”

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“On these steps today stand 82 women representing the number of female directors who have climbed these stairs since the first edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946. In the same period, 1688 male directors have climbed these very same stairs. In the 71 years of this world-renowned festival, there have been 12 female heads of its juries. The prestigious Palme d’Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors — too numerous to mention by name — but only two women: Jane Campion, who is with us in spirit, and Agnès Varda, who stands with us today.

These facts are stark and undeniable. Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise. As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress. We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts. We stand in solidarity with women of all industries.

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We will expect our institutions to actively provide parity and transparency in their executive bodies and safe environments in which to work. We will expect our governments to make sure that the laws of equal pay for equal work are upheld. We will demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so that they can best reflect the world in which we actually live. A world that allows all of us behind and in front of the camera to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues. We acknowledge all of the women and men who are standing for change. The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all. Let’s climb.”

As one of the co-founder’s of the Time’s Up movement for being one of the first to speak out against Weinstein, Cate Blanchett, made an impact for American actresses. This created a ripple effect and from it rose the French version of the #MeToo movement known as 5050×2020, which orchestrated the event.

But while the sentiments of their speeches mean well for the whole, there may be critical voices left out of these movements.

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Former child star, Sarah Monahan, is one of these voices speaking out against what she feels are not sincere movements.

Her opinion piece on News Corps states: “[#Metoo] is led by women who are only there now because it’s trendy, Who only really feel it’s OK now because there’s power in numbers, but had no desire to speak up back in the day when it was a career killer.”

Monahan played Robert Hughes’ daughter on Hey Dad! which aired from 1987 to 1994. During this time she was sexually abused by him.

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Robert Hughes pictured front left. Sarah Monahan pictured front center.

During Blanchett’s 2014 Oscar’s speech she thanked Robyn Gardiner, wife of Robert Hughes, which Monahan heavily criticized for obvious reasons.

She mentions that Blanchett has also supported Woody Allen and Roman Polanski despite their own links to sexual abuse.

So while the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements may be the beginning of equality and justice for women, it is important for women to never stop questioning what goes on behind the scenes. Listening to the voices of the abused, such as Monahan’s, are detrimental in the creation of a proper life for women which is free of abuse.

It’s also important to note that the need and want to be trusting of those who have helped us throughout our lives can cloud our overall judgments of who and how those people truly are. While Blanchett would like to lead women up a difficult climb, maybe she is only at the first step.

We should never lose sight of the fact that the importance of these movements are to first and foremost listen to women like Monahan, believe them, trust them and never betray them.

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