Salma Hayek calls for pay cut for male actors

Hollywood star Salma Hayek believes disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein only responded to her and Lupita Nyong'o's sexual harassment claims because women of colour are "the easiest to get discredited".

Hayek said men should not be afraid of change in the gender balance.

The prestigious Cannes festival has come under criticism for failing to showcase more films by women directors.

Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek and Marion Cotillard were among 82 women who made a symbolic walk up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, in a demonstration of solidarity for women struggling for a voice in the movie industry.

Hayek said much work still needs to be done, particularly on the issue of equal pay.

"If actors ask such inflated fees it will leave nothing for actresses. The prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors-too numerous to mention by name-but only two women".

"The actors have to say: 'OK, time's up".

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Hayek said that although achieving equality would take time, movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have created a serious long-lasting avenue for change.

So hard, in fact, "otherwise they will kill the movie", Hayek quipped.

"Time's up. You had a good run but it is time now to be generous with the actresses", she added.

"But also the actors have to work together because if the male actors are asking for such big numbers, that part of it belongs a little bit to the women and in the past it was never given and the movie doesn't get done because they can not pay the actors what they were making.The actors have to say 'OK, time's up, I had a good run but now it's time to also be generous with the actresses in the films'".

"It was a strategy by the lawyers, because we are the easiest to get discredited", the Mexican-born actress told Variety during a panel discussion. "So he went attacking the two women of color, in hopes that if he could discredit us, he could then maybe discredit the rest".

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Hayek argued that Weinstein singled out Nyong'o and herself because they are women of colour, while most of the accusers were not.

She added she found the protest - in which more than 80 women stood on the red carpet - visually arresting: "I was really moved to see physically - which is the best way to do it, because cinema is about visual images - and I think that we talk a lot, but this image, yeah, it looked like we were a lot".

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