Regina King Reveals Her Plan To Push Diversity At Cannes Film Festival

The director and Oscar-winning actor discussed the path to a more inclusive Hollywood at the prestigious movie gathering.

CANNES, France ― Regina King declared Friday she will keep fighting for diversity in Hollywood, even when the audience is an obstacle.

“We do have a ways to go but part of it is going to be, even though the audience doesn’t want to hear it, the conversations have to continue,” the director and Oscar-winning actor said during Kering’s Women In Motion talk at the Cannes Film Festival. “We have to keep shining a light on the fact that things aren’t reflective of what the rest of the world looks like, especially in America. That’s our export to the world ― movies. We have to continue to want to see stories told by and from different perspectives. ”

Noting that directing nods for women were down by 10% for this week’s Emmy nominations, she added: “We just have to keep talking about it and pushing.”

Regina King told young women filmmakers to not only ask questions -- but listen to the answers.
Regina King told young women filmmakers to not only ask questions -- but listen to the answers.

King had a small part as a sympathetic U.S. marshal in Sean Penn’s “Flag Day,” which premiered in competition at the festival. After a lauded feature-directing debut last year with “One Night In Miami,” she’s slated to return behind the camera for an adaptation of the Harlem monster-hunters comic book series “Bitter Root.”

The Oscar-winning “If Beale Street Could Talk” star offered sage advice for young women filmmakers.

“Don’t let your fear silence you,” she said. “I would ask questions and listen to the answers.” 

“Never feel like there’s such thing as a dumb question,” she said.

King, who stars in the upcoming Netflix Western “The Harder They Fall,” is already seeing positive signs from a future generation of filmmakers.

She said she didn’t have the “moxie” she sees when talking to 9-year-olds, many of whom are unaware of the “like a girl” insult often used to diminish young women, she said.

“I love that moxie ... that chutzpah.”