Did Cate Blanchett make a pro-Palestinian statement on the Cannes red carpet?

Oscar-winning actress has been outspoken about her support for a ceasefire

Cate Blanchett wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier dress designed by Haider Ackermann at the premiere of The Apprentice in Cannes. EPA
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The internet is still divided over whether or not Cate Blanchett's Cannes red carpet dress was a message for Palestinians, but her look certainly caught the eye.

Blanchett, 55, attended Monday's premiere of The Apprentice wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier satin dress by Colombian-French designer Haider Ackermann. The colour-blocked dress by Ackermann, known for his sculptural creations, featured a black front and a pink back, with green lining inside.

While posing for photographers, Blanchett lifted the back of her dress to expose the green lining. Seen against the colour of the Cannes Film Festival red carpet, many commentators interpreted Blanchett's dress as a message of solidarity with Palestinians, as black, red and green, along with white, are the predominant colours of the Palestinian flag.

Blanchett finished her look with a chain of pearls from Louis Vuitton that sat on her shoulder. The jewellery was custom-made for the actress by creative director Francesca Amfitheatrof.

Besides her red carpet looks and acting chops, Blanchett is well known for her activism, championing women's rights. She's also been a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador since 2016.

She has been outspoken about the conflict in Gaza. In October, she joined Artists4Ceasefire, a group of more than 60 actors and artists in Hollywood, in signing a letter addressed to US President Joe Biden, urging him to call for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.

“We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine,” the letter read. “We ask that, as President of the United States, you call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost.”

The following month, Blanchett spoke at the European Parliament Plenary Session and called for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.

“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,” she said. “And having witnessed the human cost of war, violence and persecution visiting refugees from across the globe, I cannot look away.”

While praising the EU for granting asylum and protection to those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine, she pleaded that compassion be afforded to everyone. “This solidarity should not be limited to one group, but afforded to all,” she said.

Blanchett's new film, Rumours, had its world premiere on Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received a four-minute standing ovation. The dark comedy, which also stars Alicia Vikander, follows a group of world leaders who meet at the G7 intergovernmental forum, but get lost in the woods while trying to compose a joint statement.

Cannes Film Festival runs until Saturday

Updated: May 21, 2024, 9:14 AM