Mexican actress Salma Hayek recently expressed anger over what she believes is sexism in Hollywood, and the 49-year-old delivered a powerful speech on Friday when she participated in Variety’s Power Of Women luncheon. According to a report from the Daily Mail, Hayek slammed Hollywood for its mistreatment of women and expressed that women deserve pay equality in the workplace.
“This is a problem that is in every single industry,” Hayek said. “If you have the same capacities and you are doing the same job, it is criminal not to pay the same salary.”
At the event, which honors women in the entertainment industry who use their public platform to raise awareness and work toward charitable causes, Salma Hayek criticized Hollywood, and talked about how the world is still a place without gender equity.
“This is really, really sad and tragic,” Hayek expressed. “In the 20 years I have been an activist for women, I can smell the airs of change, especially in this industry for the first time. We are a fantastic generation. I could not have made it without the women who gave me the strength today. For all of you who don’t know what time for change is, it is a call for everyone to use social media for social justice.”
Hayek delivered a moving speech while stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anna Kendrick sat in attendance. Excited by the fact that people are already talking about the power of women and their capabilities, Salma believes that changes are occurring in the world that seem to lead to gender equality and to a fairer society for women.
“We are a fantastic generation. We are the generation who said, ‘Oh no, we’re not going away at 30. This is gonna change. I’m not going to work there anymore? OK, I’m going to start my own industry,'” Hayek told the crowd as they applauded in approval.”We are 66 percent of the work power of the world. However, we only get 10 percent of the income of the world. This is really, really sad and tragic.”
During Variety’s Power Of Women event, Hayek was honored for her work with the Chime for Change women’s empowerment project, an initiative she launched with Beyoncé and Frida Giannini, in partnership with Gucci. Hayek revealed that, in just two years, the project has benefited 400,000 women in matters of education, health, and justice, and it has also positively impacted the lives of 3 million households. The campaign supports non-governmental agencies with the mission of empowering women and girls and has raised $7.3 million with 153 nonprofit partners to fund projects in 88 countries, Variety wrote.
Hayek condemned the practice in Hollywood which tends to favor young actresses therefore leaving little space for those in their 40s or more. The audience was thrilled when the activist spoke about it.
“They (the producers) can not ignore us anymore,” said Hayek.
After the actress cited that women represent 50 percent of the population and 66 percent of the workforce but obtained only 10 percent of global revenues, she then seized the moment to make an appeal against the stereotypes promoted by the majority of films that are made in the Hollywood industry.
“These romantic comedies are not working anymore. Why? We changed!,” she said to a cheering crowd. “I think that this is the true part of equality.”
Hayek also made sure she didn’t miss the opportunity to thank those who have supported her and helped her to get where she is now: Jada Pinkett and Mia Maestro, who were also present at the Power of Women event.
[Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment]