This year, the festival has established a hotline for sexual harassment victims at Cannes.
"It's not the Nobel Peace Award, it's the Palme d'Or", Ms Blanchett said, trying to put things in perspective.
"Is (#MeToo) going to have a direct impact on the film in competition this year, six nine months on?"
South Africa and Kenya both have films in competition for the Uncertain Regard portion of the fest, which is considered a showcase for emerging talent.
And then Blanchett took on the role of reporter to ask the inevitable follow-up question: "Why did I become the president of the jury if I'm not interested in awards?" They are here because of the quality of work.
While Cannes organizers acknowledge the gender inequality, they insist this merely reflects the under representation of women directors in the cinema industry as a whole.
Since 1946, only 84 of the 1,790 directors whose films has been shown in competition at Cannes have been women - in other words, less than one in 20.
Though Ms Blanchett and other members of the jury said the films will be judged on their own merit, it's going to be hard to ignore the extraneous and intrinsic factors that accompany many.
Let us think of all the wonderful films served in Cannes and savour them instead of nitpicking and worrying about what is not there.
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This year's festival has also been overshadowed by another controversy.
"Being attractive doesn't preclude being intelligent". "This is by its very nature a glamorous, fantastic, spectacular festival".
Also on the jury that will decide this year's Palme d'Or are Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, French director Robert Guediguian and Chinese actor Chang Chen.
On the Netflix debate, DuVernay only referenced the situation vaguely. There was something outside of my purview to orient me to my place in the world. French law prevents a film that plays in theaters to appear on streaming services for three years.
Cannes never mentions the country of origin while listing the films. Several Netflix titles, including Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" and the recently completed Orson Welles film "The Other Side of the Wind", had been expected to premiere this year.
Despite a plea by U.S. director Oliver Stone and other supporters, Tehran has refused to lift a travel ban on the dissident Iranian master Jafar Panahi, whose "Three Faces" is in the running for the Palme d'Or.
As we know that women have been stopped on the Cannes red carpet in previous years for not wearing high heels, and its dress code has been condemned as sexist.
Pointedly though, he has not risked giving von Trier a press conference this time for his new serial killer flick, "The House That Jack Built" with Uma Thurman and Matt Dillon. Sonam Kapoor-Ahuja will be at the French Riviera as a newlywed and make heads turn on May 14 and 15.
Amidst the less starry line-up at the festival, the new "Star Wars" spin-off, "Solo" is the only Hollywood blockbuster.