82 women to walk the red carpet in Cannes film fest protest

CANNES FESTIVAL FASHION

The statement coincides with the Cannes Film Festival's announcement that it will be signing "concrete, strong commitments" to diversity on Monday, Deadline reports, though it's not clear what exactly those commitments will be.

At the first Cannes festival since the sexual abuse scandals that broke in Hollywood past year, Cate Blanchett, the head of the jury that will award the Palme d'Or, and veteran French director Agnes Varda read out a statement.

The protest was meant to highlight the difficulties for women in Hollywood to "to climb the social and professional ladder", and also to urge a safer workplace for all, seven months after the New York Times expose on disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of rape and sexual harassment.

When Eva Husson's Girls Of The Sun was screened on Saturday, Blanchett along with 81 women took to the red carpet in an attempt to represent each of the 82 films by women that have ever been nominated for the festival in comparison to the 1,645 films directed by men.

Blanchett, the jury president of this year's festival, led the group and read out a statement from the steps of the Palais des Festivals, joined by French film director Agnes Varda, who read the statement in French. A world that allows all of us behind and in front of the camera to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues. The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all.

In a conversation Sunday as part of the "Women in Motion" talk series at Cannes, Hayek said her production company is having trouble keeping up with the demand for female writers and directors.

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