Greta Gerwig Addresses #MeToo Movement in France at Cannes Press Conference: ‘It’s Only Moving Everything in the Correct Direction’

Greta Gerwig Addresses #MeToo Movement in France at Cannes Press Conference: ‘It’s Only Moving Everything in the Correct Direction’

Greta Gerwig addressed the growing #MeToo movement in France at the jury press conference on opening day of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“I think people in the community of movies telling us stories and trying to change things for the better is only good,” Gerwig said when asked how she felt about #MeToo-related rumors swirling ahead of the festival. “I have seen substantive change in the American film community, and I think it’s important that we continue to expand that conversation. So I think it’s only moving everything in the correct direction. Keep those lines of communication open.”

Gerwig is serving as the president of this year’s competition jury, which will be awarding the prestigious Palme d’Or at the end of the 11-day festival that kicks off on Tuesday night. The jury is comprised of Spanish filmmaker J. A. Bayona, Turkish actress and screenwriter Ebru Ceylan, Italian actor and producer Pierfrancesco Favino, “Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone, French actor Eva Green, Japanese filmmaker and producer Hirokazu Kore-eda, Lebanese actor and filmmaker Nadine Labaki and French actor Omar Sy.

Bayona had a different perspective on the issue, echoing general delegate Thierry Fremaux, who said in a press conference on Monday that the priority of the festival should be the movies.

“I feel this issue does not affect cinema in particular,” said “The Society of the Snow” director. “It’s much more widespread, and we’re here to focus on the films.”

Labor unrest is also on the horizon this year, with the French collective “Sous les écrans la dèche” calling for a strike. The organization is protesting against pending changes in labor policies that will see their unemployment indemnities slashed by more than half. The organization brings together hundreds of workers at festivals, from projectionists to drivers and caterers.

“I certainly support labor movements and we’ve certainly gone through this just now with our unions,” Gerwig said. “I hope that the festival workers can form an agreement that is good for them and supports them and supports the festival.”

The ongoing war in Gaza and the incendiary debate around Israel and Palestine came up when Variety asked the jury about Cannes’ decision to ban protests on the Croisette. Earlier in the conference, Favino referred to the festival as a “free space,” and was pressed on how ignoring the Gaza situation is perhaps impossible — after all, the official Cannes program has a film about Gaza and jury member Sy recently urged politicians to take action to stop Israel’s ground invasion of Rafah.

“When I say free space, it’s not just physical space. It’s also the possibility of time,” Favino said. “One of the most difficult things we could do is seek beauty. Reminding the world that there’s beauty in the world with filmmakers. Movies can talk to people … if we look for beauty, then we might look for peace.”

Cannes Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday night with the premiere of Quentin Dupieux’s French comedy “The Second Act.”

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