Kerry Washington, star of political drama “Scandal,” is at the Cannes Lions Festival for a host of events including a breakfast with Twitter and a soiree on Monday evening hosted by streaming media companies Spotify and Hulu at the Chateau St. George in Grasse, France, a little village outside Cannes.
Washington has a series with Hulu based on the book “Little Fires Everywhere,” which she is executive producing with Reese Witherspoon.
The Query caught up with her after a performance by singer Miguel and asked for her take on what’s happening in the news.
Q: Is this your first time in Cannes?
A: It’s my first time at Cannes Lions. I’ve been here for the [film] festival. I’m here speaking with Twitter, speaking as part of the women’s empowerment program. I’m also here with Hulu.
Q: How are things changing in Hollywood for women?
A: People are working really hard at Time’s Up making sure there are more opportunities and more equity and safety and equality in the workplace. That’s a big part of our mission and vision, and that’s what we’re working on confidently at Time’s Up, all people who feel like they are victims of the imbalance of power. Our legal defense fund is for people of any industry to help people in situations of harassment and abuse.
Q: What have you learned at Cannes so far? There are a lot of different industries here: music, tech…
A: It’s interesting to talk about how innovation is impacting all these businesses across the board, for me especially, moving from network television and working in streaming. My next series is for Hulu and I have a series on Facebook Watch called “Five Points,” so I’m working on creating as a producer for multiple platforms. We’re also producing theater. We’re trying to make sure our portfolio of storytelling is diversified. For me, it's great to be here to be in the conversation.
Q: Tell me how it's different working for a streaming company?
A: It’s all different. Every project is going to be different depending on the story and the audience, but definitely fun to work in a variety of ways. The Facebook Watch [series] is 10 episodes about 10 or 12 minutes [each], whereas the series I’m creating with Hulu is a limited series. It’s exciting to be working in the entertainment industry to tell stories to work in so many different ways whether it is short form, long form, limited.
Q: Are you doing anything with Twitter?
A: We’re beginning to talk about content creation over there.
Q: How do you feel about American politics and what’s happening right now?
A: What’s happening right now at the border of the United States is a violation of human rights. It’s far beyond anything I could have imagined on “Scandal.”