Tuesday 22 October 2019

Cate Blanchett warns of perils of social media in sexual abuse claims

The actress said it was hard to find a place where you can have a ‘nuanced conversation’ these days.

Cate Blanchett (PA)
Cate Blanchett (PA)

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent

Cate Blanchett has warned of the perils of social media when it comes to sexual abuse claims.

The Australian actress, a big supporter of the #MeToo movement, said social media “doesn’t allow for peaks and troughs” and that “nuanced conversation” and “intelligent discussion” were vital.

During an interview on BBC podcast Books To Live By… with Mariella Frostrup, host Frostrup suggested that gross transgressions were “almost being judged on a par with the hand that slips onto your knee at an office party” in the current climate.

Oscar-winner Blanchett, 49, replied: “It’s the downside of social media because it doesn’t allow for peaks and troughs.

“It doesn’t allow for nuance and it doesn’t allow for processing time.

“I think it’s really really important that that long term deep time strategic thinking is allowed to take place, along with the very real and understandable immediate response with people who have been experiencing… who have been placed in a position where they have had to be subservient and the shame that goes around with that.”

She went on: “It’s very very difficult now to find a place now where you can have nuanced conversation.”

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Mariella Frostrup (PA)

Frostrup suggested there is currently the sense that there is a “mob that moves in a kind of Monty Python-esque way whenever someone shouts, ‘He’s a witch’.”

“There has to be discussion,” said Blanchett.

“We can’t move forward without intelligent discussion and also debate. Debate is different to hate speech. Talking about something.

“But the problem is sound bites won’t solve it and finger pointing won’t solve it.”

“I do really believe that the judicial system is a fundamental building block of democracy and if we pull that out of the Jenga block, it’s all going to collapse,” added the star.

Download BBC Sounds to subscribe to Books To Live By… With Mariella Frostrup. New episodes are available fortnightly.

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