Geena Davis on Hollywood Sexism: ‘Nothing Changed’ After ‘Thelma & Louise’

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.

More Film

  • Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big

    Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big At Durban FilmMart Awards

    DURBAN–Female-driven narratives and daring portraits of queer culture around the continent were the big winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, which handed out awards at a ceremony Monday night at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel. Among the prize-winners were the story of a Zimbabwean woman [...]

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summerside Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summerside Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summerside Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content