In the film, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Geena Davis, Natalie Portman, and Heather Graham, among others, spoke out about the abuse and bias they’ve faced at the hands of men while in the movie business.
They told stories about how they’ve been used as sexual props for a variety of celebrated movies and ignored by male execs who casted them for nothing other than the physical appeal of their bodies.
Geena Davis, 62, spoke of her first hit film, Thelma and Louise, and how she naively believed that the strong characters in the movie would start a new era of empowered women and feminism — but she was wrong. She also spoke of her company, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and how she had to personally conduct research to prove to male executives that gender discrimination in Hollywood is still, very much a problem.
All in all, the heart-wrenching yet inspiring documentary brought an overwhelming sense of empowerment to the SVA Theater crowd.
After the DOC NYC screening, Killing Me Softly actress Heather Graham, 48, took part in a panel discussion with Susan Lyne (former president of ABC Entertainment), filmmaker Maria Geise and the documentary’s director, Tom Donahue.
The ladies all agreed that it was important to have Donahue direct the film in order to avoid bias from non-feminist viewers.
Still, 85% of his team was female.
The talk was moderated by CNN's Brooke Baldwin, who asked each of the speakers about their involvement in the project and their thoughts on how gender discrimination in Hollywood has changed over the years.
After the invigorating panel discussion, guests were transported to The Beatrice Inn to celebrate the film's NYC premiere.