Did Cate Blanchett make a pro-Palestine fashion statement at Cannes?

Australian actor attended annual Cannes Film Festival on 20 May in couture Jean Paul Gaultier gown

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 21 May 2024 18:13
Related video: Cate Blanchett's Aussie delight: Her favorite snack unveiled

The stars were out at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The annual event, which takes place in the south of France, saw several standing ovations and memorable red carpet looks. However, some fans are speculating that actor Cate Blanchett used the opportunity to make a pertinent political statement.

The Australian actor, 55, walked the red carpet on Sunday, May 20 ahead of the premiere of The Apprentice – a highly-anticipated docudrama about the early life of former US president Donald Trump. For the occasion, Blanchett donned a Haider Ackermann for Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2023 haute couture bustier dress.

The floor-length gown featured a black satin front with emerald green silk lining on the inside of the dress, while the back of the dress was lined with a subtle shade of light pink. The gown’s strapless neckline purposefully appeared unfinished, as she donned a Louis Vuitton shoulder necklace that ran across the length of her shoulders.

While posing on the red carpet, the Oscar winner showed off the green lining on the inside of her dress, so that it was juxtaposed with the black front of the gown. As a photo of her red carpet look went viral on X, formerly Twitter, many fans believed the gesture was in solidarity with Palestine – considering the colors of its flag are black, white, and green overlaid by a red triangle.

“When I grow up I want to become Cate Blanchett, and have the subtlety to think the carpet is already red, so I can just wear a black and white dress with green lining to make such a strong point,” wrote user Dr Zahira Jaser on the platform.

Cate Blanchett attends Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2024 in Cannes, France (Getty Images)

However, others were quick to point out that the back of Blanchett’s dress was actually light pink, not white like the Palestinian flag. “Hearing the back of the dress is pink, oh well. I refuse to believe this effect is casual,” Jaser replied to their post.

The Lord of the Rings star has been vocal about her support for a ceasefire amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. In October, she was among 55 famous figures who signed a letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The artists, including Joaquin Phoenix and Kristen Stewart, urged US president Joe Biden to facilitate “an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages” following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7.

The following month, Blanchett spoke at the European Parliament Plenary Session as a Goodwill Ambassador the the United Nations’ Refugee Agency, where she emphasized her support for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza.

“I am not Syrian, I am not Ukrainian, I am not Yemeni, I am not Afghani. I am not from South Sudan. I am not from Israel or Palestine. I am not a politician. I am not even a pundit. But I am a witness. And having witnessed the human cost of war, violence and persecution visiting refugees from across the globe, I cannot look away,” Blanchett said in her address. “Over the past few weeks, we have all, in horror, been watching the continuing violence in Israel and Gaza. The conflict has claimed – and is still claiming – thousands of innocent lives.”

More than 35,562 Palestinians have been killed and 79,652 wounded during Israel’s war in Gaza, according to the latest update from Gaza’s Health Ministry. The UN’s World Food Program recently warned that some 300,000 people in northern Gaza are suffering from a “full-blown” famine, while the entire 2.3 million population of Gaza is experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger.

Earlier this month, social media users began calling out celebrities for perceived inaction over the war in Gaza, staging a “blockout” to pressure the stars to take a stand. Internet users blocked content from the social media accounts of certain celebrities who haven’t spoken up against Israel’s actions in Gaza during its war with Hamas, using hashtags such as #blockout, #blockout2024, or #celebrityblockout.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Blanchett for comment.

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