Over the course of this year, an increasing number of actresses have spoken out about their unequal employer, showbiz. Geena Davis is the latest star to air her grievances about Hollywood sexism.
“After ‘Thelma & Louise,’ which was pretty noticed and potent and significant, (people said) ‘This changes everything! There’s going to be so many female buddy movies!’ and nothing changed,” Davis said in an interview with The Guardian.
Despite the recent flurry of films with strong female leads, including the upcoming “Ghostbusters” reboot, “Trainwreck” and “Bridesmaids,” Davis says the ratio of male to female movie characters has not changed since 1946.
“The big takeaway I got from ‘Thelma & Louise’ was the reaction of women who had seen the movie being so profound, so different,” she added. “It was overwhelming and it made me realize how few opportunities we give women to feel excited and empowered by female characters, to come out of a movie pumped.”
After riding the box office success with Susan Sarandon, Davis starred in the women’s baseball pic “A League of Their Own,” which also gave Davis hope.
“All the talk was, ‘Well now, beyond a doubt, women’s sports movies, we’re going to see a wave of them because this was so successful.'” Davis continued. “That’s balls. It took 10 years until ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ came out. So, there was no trend whatsoever.”
This is not the first time the actress has highlighted the issue of gender inequality among actors. She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2006, which remains the sole research-based org that promotes gender balance in media and entertainment. The institute is set to launch its Global Symposium on Gender in Media during the BFI London Film Festival in October.
Davis’ comments follow actresses Emma Thompson, who described Hollywood sexism as “still completely s—,” and Liv Tyler, who compared the treatment of actresses her age to that of a “second-class citizen.” Others who recently vocalized their frustrations with the industry include Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Carey Mulligan, Salma Hayek, Patricia Arquette and Maggie Gyllenhaal.