Geena Davis on Fighting Sexism in Hollywood

The actress discusses how the lack of female representation in the film industry led her to establish the Bentonville Film Festival and the Institute on Gender in Media.
2:51 | 05/05/16

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Transcript for Geena Davis on Fighting Sexism in Hollywood
Geena Davis is sparking an important conversation this morning. Opening up about women in Hollywood and 2015 women had just a third of speaking roles in movies. Something geena who is a founder of the institute on gender and media says needs to change. We recently sat down and had this little chat. First of all, thank you. This is a very important conversation. We saw when the Oscar nominations came out a lot of talk about diversity. Right. How about the conversation about women? If you want to look at directors and things like that, 4%, you know, it's very, very low. For women, we're half the population, you know, but gender and diversity are -- go together. You know, it's really the same thing. You could say diversity and mean to include women, but that's what our film festival is about. The bentonville film festival. We call it bff. One of the things we're able to do unheard of in the world our prizes are guaranteed distribution. So they'll be in AMC theaters. They'll be on Walmart shelves, they'll be on stars or lifetime on TV. That's huge. That's a big difference. It's absolutely the biggest difference and I had a filmmaker tell me the other day that getting distribution is harder than making a movie. So it's a huge component to get your movie out in the theaters. Some people would say, hey, look, "Ghostbusters" or "Bridesmaids" or we're seeing more women in action movies. Yeah. But how do you respond to that and that's just not enough? It's not enough. It's not enough and I've been in movies where people have reacted by saying, now everything has changed. "Thelma & Louise" was one, my very next movie was "League of their own." Oh, now everything is changed for sure and the fact is, the ratio male to female characters in films has been exactly the same since 1946. What advice do you have for anyone, especially women, who are entering this wonderful, wacky world that you have given so much to? The advice I have for people in my position or people that are going to be the star of a movie or have clout, it's very easy to impact change without offending anybody or anything just by saying, you know, in that scene tomorrow when I give a speech could the crowd be half women? It's simple things like that or could my cabinet be half women? Could the board be half women, so and, of course, everybody is going to go, yeah. Of course. Why not? You know, so -- Just speaking out. Speaking up. Just bringing it up because it's all unconscious. It's all unconscious. I think the vast majority of it is and it's all about inclusion. Exactly. That's what we want.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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