Cate Blanchett's apparent show of support for Palestine divides many

Actor's apparent choice to pay homage to the Palestinian flag has sparked many reactions

Entertainment Desk May 22, 2024

You may have seen the photos from the Cannes Film Festival red carpet by now. A radiant Cate Blanchett, smiling brilliantly, flung out the train of her custom black Haider Ackerman gown to reveal a striking green panel. This, combined with the red carpet, subtly yet powerfully paid homage to the Palestinian flag.

Despite Cannes' preemptive ban on Palestine protests during the 11-day event, Blanchett and Ackerman's statement did not go unnoticed, reminding everyone that fashion can be a powerful form of protest.

Blanchett’s bold fashion choice elicited mixed reactions. Amid a few critical comments, the response from netizens was largely positive. One Instagram user remarked, “She basically upstaged the event in such a clever way, making the event itself commit to a statement with the red carpet. She's been vocal all along, so this is a welcome positive gesture.” Another noted, “I was looking for the red in her dress but just realised it's the carpet! Brilliant!”

However, the subtlety of her ensemble led some to question the true intent behind the dress. Many speculated that the colour combination was coincidental, with one user stating, “I don’t see this as a pro-Palestinian dress. It's black, green, and light pink. Has she confirmed this as a statement? I would love this to be a purposeful choice of protest, but the dress being light pink in the back indicates to me that it's not Palestinian colours.” Another simply commented, “I don’t think this quite counts.”

While some praised Blanchett’s choice, others felt it was insufficient. A section of the internet debated whether subtle gestures were enough. One user wrote, “Please stop praising the minimal efforts celebrities make and making assumptions.” Another stated, “Subtlety is not acceptable seven months in, even if she spoke up before. Solidarity needs to be loud and clear.”

Rather than dividing the internet into two camps, Blanchett's statement created three distinct viewpoints: one-third praising her choice, one-third sceptical about the intentionality behind the colours, and the final third demanding more overt demonstrations of solidarity.

Blanchett has long used her platform to advocate for the plight of those in Gaza. Recently, as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, she addressed the European Parliament Plenary Session, calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza.

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