Breaking News Bar
posted: 5/23/2014 6:18 PM

Red carpet activism all the rage at Cannes?

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Actress Salma Hayek holds up a sign reading "bring back our girls," part of a campaign calling for the release of nearly 300 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls as she arrives for the screening of Saint-Laurent at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France.

      Actress Salma Hayek holds up a sign reading "bring back our girls," part of a campaign calling for the release of nearly 300 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls as she arrives for the screening of Saint-Laurent at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France.
    Associated Press file photo

  • Actors Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas, from the movie "The Expendables 3," hold up signs as they arrive for the screening of "The Homesman" at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 18.

      Actors Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas, from the movie "The Expendables 3," hold up signs as they arrive for the screening of "The Homesman" at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 18.
    Associated Press file photo

 
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Associated Press

CANNES, France -- When Salma Hayek walked the Cannes Film Festival red carpet holding up the sign "Bring Back Our Girls," the cast of "The Expendables" followed suit the next night -- even if some of them didn't know what the slogan was about.

"I remember Victor (Ortiz) was like, 'What were those signs?' and I had to fill him in,'" actor Kellan Lutz of his co-star.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Ortiz, Hayek and others helped spread the message, a plea for the return of nearly 300 girls kidnapped in Nigeria by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, by using one of the most famous media events in the world. The "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign has become a hashtag on Twitter and championed by luminaries including U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.

Still, it wasn't the only social message at Cannes this year. The actors and director of the Turkish film "Winter Sleep" held up signs reading "Soma," referring to the recent Turkish mining tragedy that killed 301 miners.

In an interview with The Associated Press this week, Angelina Jolie, known for her activism, worried that stars promoting the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign could backfire.

"We need to not turn the Boko Haram into superstars that get more attention for doing something so horrible," she said. "We need to go after them, arrest and they need to face justice.

"Because at the end of the day, the bigger picture is this kind of horror happens around the world. Women are facing this kind of abuse, so are men and boys. And the answer cannot be simply one situation and that will solve it."

"I would beg the media, for all of us, to not treat things one at a time," she added.

Other stars were supportive of using the Cannes stage to promote something more serious than films.

Actor Viggo Mortensen, who held up a flag of his soccer team at his Cannes photo call for the movie "Jauja," had no problem with other celebrities doing the same for something weightier.

"I have no problem speaking out when it seems appropriate or called for -- I've done it before," he said.

Hayek held up the sign as she walked the red carpet for her animated film "The Prophet." She said it was not out of character.

"I was always involved in women's rights before I was a celebrity," she said. "But of course (the premiere) was a good opportunity to use it to continue to put pressure on the governments so that they bring back our girls."

Lutz said the "Expendables" cast were handed the signs before they walked the carpet but he was already supportive of the campaign.

"To do it on one of the most watched locations and spots where people in the films are just walking up, and it's just such an iconic location ... it impacts so much," he said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.