CANNES: Harvey Weinstein’s fall should be the end of “dinosaur” men preying on women, Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones said Tuesday as she premiered a film about a woman who had a brutally efficient way of dealing with chauvinism.
The Oscar-winning actress said she hoped Weinstein’s disgrace would be the “tipping point, or at last a turning point” in the treatment of women not just in Hollywood but in “any industry, corporation, school or college.”
“Let’s hope that big old dinosaur of men thinking they can get away with that sort of behaviour is extinct as of now,” she told reporters.
The British-born star, who plays the notorious Colombian drug baron Griselda Blanco in a new TV film, “Cocaine Godmother”, joked that her character had a rather direct way of dealing with male sexism: “Shoot them in the head.”
Zeta-Jones said that while that would not be her approach, as a woman “you have to give her that, as we still fight for equality in the workplace.”
“Griselda had no redeeming traits but the one thing she did have was the ability to stand up against men in a male world,” she said as the film screened at MIPCOM, the top TV industry gathering, in Cannes on the French Riviera.
Sexism is not “just a problem in the film, theatrical or TV industry,” Zeta-Jones, 48, added. “It is rife everywhere. As women we get knocked down as being ambitious. Men don’t get that. We should be proud of being ambitious, we shouldn’t hide it.”
She said she hoped lessons were being learned from the Weinstein affair, “otherwise we truly are stuck in a world that’s very sad and very destructive.”
Despite the dangers from predators, she advised young actors “not to lose your vulnerability — it is essential to your craft. Vulnerability is a beautiful character trait and we should have it and be allowed to have it. But it’s important that we know it’s protected.”
Earlier Willow Grylls, producer of the TV series “The Missing”, said fixating on one man and one industry “missed the point”.
“It is much wider than that. It’s about abuse of power,” she said.