"I was raised in a climate where if you didn't learn things as fast as the boys, it meant that it wasn't for you..." said Mayim Bialik, better known for playing Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. Joining hands with fellow actor Geena Davis at AT&T's SHAPE media conference, they discussed how the industry can achieve change in terms of gender parity in Hollywood films to encourage young people all over the world.
Bialik plays a neuroscientist on a hit show & holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience
This panel was started due to an interesting study carried out by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media which discovered that 63 percent of the women surveyed revealed that they were encouraged to pursue STEM careers thanks to "X-Files" character Dana Scully, an FBI agent and medical doctor. She was a massive role model for them. Bialik who plays a neuroscientist on the hit show holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience herself revealed that when she was a young girl they weren't many women like Scully and herself on screen who could serve as her inspiration. This not only applies to gender but color too and therefore diversity needs to be present in every form, a great example is the film 'Hidden Figures' which featured the true stories of African-American women who played a paramount role in NASA.
All it takes is changing the names of male characters to female ones
Geena Davis said, "As much as people think Hollywood is liberal and open-minded and progressive thinking, they're doing a worse job of reflecting society than the abysmal numbers in real life. If we show it, it will happen in real life." She also added that sometimes all it takes is the simple act of changing the names of male characters to female ones and changing the white characters into ones of various ethnicities like Black, Hispanic, Indian, and many more. But how many Hollywood screenwriters are willing to change their ways and actually do something like this? And how many are willing to create particular roles that do not stereotype people of different ethnic cultures?
Image credit: NBC Washington