Cate Blanchett warns against perils of social media when it comes to #MeToo movement

Sarah Young
Thursday 28 March 2019 12:29 GMT
Michelle Obama on the critics of #MeToo

Cate Blanchett has warned against the perils of social media when it comes to discussing sexual abuse.

The actor, who is a staunch supporter of the #MeToo movement, said that networking sites like Facebook and Twitter don’t “allow for peaks and troughs” and that “intelligent discussion” is vital for things to change.

During an interview on BBC podcast Books To Live By…with Mariella Frostrup, when the host suggested that serious offences were “almost being judged on a par with the hand that slips onto your knee at an office party” in the current climate.

To which 49-year-old Blanchett replied: “It's the downside of social media because it doesn't allow for peaks and troughs.

”It doesn't allow for nuance and it doesn't allow for processing time.

“I think it's really, really important that long-term deep time strategic thinking is allowed to take place, along with the very real and understandable immediate response with people who have been experiencing, who have been placed in a position where they have had to be subservient and the shame that goes around with that.”

Blanchett continued: “It's very, very difficult now to find a place now where you can have nuanced conversation.”

Frostrup went on to suggest that there is also a “mob that moves in a kind of Monty Python-esque way whenever someone shouts, 'He's a witch'.“

Blanchett responded by insisting that there “has to be a discussion” about cases of sexual abuse.

“We can't move forward without intelligent discussion and also debate. Debate is different to hate speech. Talking about something,” she said.

”But the problem is sound bites won't solve it and finger pointing won't solve it.

“I do really believe that the judicial system is a fundamental building block of democracy and if we pull that out of the Jenga block, it's all going to collapse,” added the star.

This isn’t the first time Blanchett has spoken about sexual harassment.

During a speech at the InStyle Awards in 2017 the Oscar-winning actor said: “We all like looking sexy but it doesn’t mean we want to f**k you.”

“No one says to Steve Bannon, ‘You look like a bag of trash. Do you want me to throw you out?’

“But the comments that get said about what women wear on the red carpet, I mean, if you troll through those trolls on the internet — just don’t.”

Blanchett’s comments came weeks after allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein were made public. Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sexual conduct against him.

Blanchett also previously condemned Weinstein in a statement to Variety, reading: “Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account.

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”It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have.“

To listen to the interview in full you can subscribe to Books To Live By... With Mariella Frostrup via BBC Sounds.

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