Cate Blanchett is calling for a halt to cancel culture so society can understand the mistakes of the past.
The 53-year-old actress’ new multi-Oscar nominated film ‘Tár’ has been accused of being “anti-woman”, but she said the world will be doomed to repeat its past errors if now offensive works of art or the creations of artists with questionable or abusive histories are airbrushed from existence over fear of offending people with modern views.
Taking abusive womaniser Pablo Picasso as an example, she told the new issue of Radio Times: “You look at Picasso. You can only imagine what went on in, outside and around his studio.
“But do you look at ‘Guernica’ and say that is one of the greatest works of art ever? Yes, it’s a fact. I think it’s important to have a healthy critique.
“If you don’t read older books that are slightly offensive because of what they say in a historical context, then you will never grapple with the minds of the time (and) we are destined to repeat that stuff.
Cate’s is tipped to win her second Best Actress for her portrayal of obsessive conductor Lydia Tár in ‘Tár’, which sees her character rise to become the first female conductor of a German orchestra before she is revealed to be a bully, and after one of her former students commits suicide, Lydia is accused of having inappropriate relationships with her female protégés.
The backlash to the film, which has six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, has been led by conductor Marin Alsop, 66, who said she was offended by the portrayal of the protagonist, telling The Australian: “To have an opportunity to portray a woman in that role to make her an abuser, for me that’s heartbreaking.”
Cate added to the Radio Times the film had had used cancel culture as a plot device to tackle “existential” issues and previously told BBC Radio 4 the movie, directed by Todd Field, was “very provocative” and “a mediation on power” – which she added is “genderless”.
Read the full interview with Cate Blanchett in Radio Times’ BAFTA film special.