Screenwriters can play key role in gender parity, actors say

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis says achieving gender parity in media could happen overnight if screenwriters simply opted for female characters instead of male ones.

Davis joined fellow actor Mayim Bialik at AT&T’s SHAPE Conference on Saturday to discuss the need for diversity onscreen to break stereotypes and encourage young people to pursue careers they might have otherwise felt were off-limits to them.

Bialik, who holds a doctorate in neuroscience and recently wrapped her time playing the role of Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory,” said that seeing characters like Dana Scully, one of the lead character of “The X-Files” TV series, on screen and having real-life mentors is crucial.

It’s not just gender either. The panelists pointed to films like “Hidden Figures,” about a group of African-American women who played a key role in the U.S. space program, as leading the way for more complex stories on people of any gender or race.

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