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CANNES WATCH: Jane Fonda says gender pay gap ‘unacceptable’

Actress Jane Fonda poses for photographers upon arrival for the screening of the film The Sea of Trees at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

CANNES, France (AP) — Jane Fonda is starring in a film at Cannes, but she also came to the film festival to pick up an honor.

Fonda was celebrated by the Cannes Film Festival and luxury goods company Kering for her contribution to cinema Sunday as the first honoree of the “Women in Motion” program. It recognizes the work of women on the big screen.

When asked about the pay divide in Hollywood, Fonda was spirited in her response.

“Of course it upsets me that women are still earning 30 cents per dollar less than a man earns doing exactly the same work,” she said in an interview a day prior to her honor. “It’s unacceptable and it must change and we talk about it and we must be active in trying to create gender equity in terms of pay.”

“The fact is that most film directors are men, white men. Most major roles are male roles and (it’s) the reason that I’m excited about this award,” she said. “Women have to become part of the very heart of movie making.”

Fonda, who is currently starring in Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” opposite Lily Tomlin, is also featured in the “Youth,” which is in competition at the festival.

But the Oscar winner — who dazzled on the red carpet at the premiere of Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” on Saturday night — feels there is too much of it in Hollywood.

“That’s another thing that’s missing, is older women in the media,” she said.

–By Zara Eldridge, http://www.twitter.com/zara_younis

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