Salma Hayek calls for male stars to take pay cuts for equality

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"It is a very exciting time for men now. If the movie's budget is $10 million, the [male] actor has to understand that if he is making $9.7m, it is going to be hard for equality", Hayek added.

Hayek is one of a raft of actresses who have made sexual misconduct allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"Otherwise they will kill the movie", she warned.

The issue of equality has been a running theme throughout the Cannes film festival, which is the first to take place since sexual harassment allegations against some major Hollywood players surfaced previous year.

Hayek said that although achieving equality would take time, movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have created a serious long-lasting avenue for change.

In December, Hayek joined the list of more than 40 women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein.

Some are skeptical that reducing men's pay is the way to gender parity, saying that in most industries, the pay gap emerges when men get high-skilled jobs and when women take time away from the job market to have children.

She continued: "So he went back attacking the two women of colour, in the hopes of discrediting. if he could discredit us - which would be easier for the audience, the readers, to not believe us - he could then maybe discredit the rest".

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Hayek was among 82 women who took part in a red carpet protest on Saturday.

The actress said she was "shocked" to discover how much of the producer's alleged impropriety had been hushed up.

Hayek said it was hard to hire known female writers and directors in the U.S. now, as studios are snapping them up trying to catch up with the public mood.

In a lengthy statement, Weinstein apologised for his "boorish behavior" following a screening of "Frida" but claimed he never fought with Hayek on set and didn't recall some of her allegations.

Speaking at Cannes' Women In Motion talk, the actress said it's not just the producers who have ignored equality in filmmaking, but the stars too - according to The Guardian. It also went on to state that all the women from the fraternity were standing as a symbol of determination and progress, which they will all climb together.

"The men are terrified", she said.

"I think it's an invitation for us to think differently and to act differently", she said.