Salma Hayek Blasts Hollywood Sexism at Variety Event: ‘We’re Not Going Away at 30’

Salma Hayek Pinault blasted the ever-growing Hollywood gender gap in a stirring speech at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon presented by Lifetime on Friday at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons.

“We are the generation that said, ‘We’re not going away at 30,'” she said to uproarious applause. “They cannot ignore us anymore.”

Hayek Pinault recalled fearing the move from Mexico to Hollywood only to be pleasantly surprised by the women she found surrounded with in the industry.

Women represent 50 percent of the population and 66 percent of the workforce, but “only get 10 percent of the income of the world,” said Hayek Pinault, who was introduced by her friend Jada Pinkett Smith as the “ultimate ride-or-die chick of Hollywood.”

“This is really, really sad and tragic,” she said. “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.”

Hayek Pinault also slammed the films being churned by Hollywood.

“These romantic comedies are not working anymore. Why? We changed!,” she said as the crowd clapped furiously. “I think that this is the true part of equality.”

Hayek Pinault co-founded Chime for Change with Beyonce and fashion house Gucci in 2013.

“In only two years … we have affected 3 million families and communities,” she said.

The campaign supports nongovernmental agencies with the mission of empowering women and girls around the world through initiatives focused on education, health and justice. Chime for Change has so far raised $7.3 million with 153 nonprofit partners to fund projects in 88 countries, benefiting 400,000 women and girls.

She said Chime for Change is launching a new initiative called Chime for the Children of Syria.

“We are a fantastic generation,” she added. “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.”

Gallery: Variety’s Power of Women Presented by Lifetime

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  1. Brian Smith says:

    Great! Wonderful! Now where is the even more wonderful POWER OF MEN Luncheon?!!!

  2. Just another woman placing responsibility anywhere BUT with themselves.

  3. Ima Right says:

    go away! and especially in movies since you can’t act! these hollyweirdos are just like the liberals
    and progressives all hippocrites! it’s okay to take your clothes off to get in a movie or because of
    your good looks not talent but then you call it sexism! like liberals are all for high taxes but they
    don’t want to pay for it and their policies are failures but it makes them RICH so f everybody else
    as long as they make money and keep their power and fame! F all these liberal aholes!

  4. Philip Cohen says:

    Poor, poor babies. Face facts you are a beautiful OLDER woman. You and all the rest of your ilk make millions of dollars acting. Male actors are aging gracefully taking age appropriate roles. Time to grow up! Stop complaining about younger actresses getting roles of young characters

  5. Lauran says:

    Hayek wails and flails her right arm against “Hollywood sexism,” while with the left, she digs into her particularly deep pockets for breast augmentation and a new nose with which to secure even more roles.

    Every actress knows that her days are limited in front of a camera–that’s not “Hollywood sexism,” that’s how the visual arts work. When these same actresses were younger, they didn’t mind swiping parts from the older actresses. Well, what goes around, come around, and I must add that the more talented actresses do, in fact, work well into middle and old age–not so for the arm-candy actresses.

    Instead of complaining about their inability to bag a role now while touring the talk show circuits, they should have been honing their acting skills during their younger years instead of honing their breasts, their noses, their lips, and they tans.

    Sorry, Salma, you’ll have to peddle your whine-a-thon to someone else. No sale here.

  6. TM says:

    I could show you a list as long as any with actresses who passed on female driven lead projects where the guy was an afterthought only to sign up on a pos blockbuster for a few million. Hayek, the gold digger of all gold diggers, really tops it all. But I am grateful for her one great movie: Frida.

  7. John Cummings says:

    I respect and admire you for standing up to those who suppress you and exposing the truth regarding the unfair treatment to which women are subjected. Those who suppress you hope you will remain silent so their suppression can continue.To paraphrase: “The only thing necessary for this sexism to flourish is for good women to remain silent and do nothing”.

  8. CelluloidFan35mm says:

    A thought occurred to me.
    Between this, the Asian whitewash situation with The Martian and the lack of Latino and African-American representation in Hollywood, why don’t all of you join forces to fight for that common goal of equal representation.
    There are people out there that are genuinely supportive towards your plight.

  9. Lisa says:

    I noticed all the comments by the ‘women’ below don’t use the words ‘we’ or ‘us’. That’s the thing about the internet, men can write anything pretending to be women and think women will follow, but women are smarter than that.

    • sarsis says:

      Women aren’t that smart and you’re fawking bitchy, shrill and boring. Save all your “ism’s” for the Democrat National Convention. Idiots.

  10. taffy says:

    Nothing says “today’s feminist” quite like a bad Mexican actress making sure she gets pregnant by a French billionaire old enough to be her father in order to force him into marrying her and then living a life of luxury in France with her while slamming America where she somehow made millions with her bad movies.

  11. Manin Thetub says:

    You’re going away at any age if the paying customer says you’re going away.

  12. Donna says:

    This overture is unnecessary and dated. Women of value have always placed well throughout history.given hard work, determination, perseverance, sincerity in effort and passion, whether in Hollywood or other industries.
    Your rhetoric sounds like “entitlement” and that does not bode well with anyone .

  13. Nanny Mo says:

    Yawn! None of the talented women have ever been ignored, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Doris Day and that does even touch the powerful producers and others. The list is longer than you want to pretend, because it doesn’t fit your agenda and no one claps for that. This is such a non-starter. Talentless people don’t make money (women or men), you give them a movie out of guilt, it flops and you loose millions. Deal in reality, sisters and you’ll be another Lucille Ball, don’t and you’re a… who now?

    • sage says:

      Such a long list that you couldn’t name anyone whose heyday was in the 1980s and beyond. The list was so long you couldn’t even give a post-Jimmy Carter example.

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