Sammy Nickalls
August 25, 2015 1:41 pm

We are so, so excited for the new Ghostbusters reboot coming out next July. Not only because of the seriously amazing talent that will be involved (um, Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones . . . could that casting list BE any radder?), but because of what it represents: Girl power in a male-dominated Hollywood.

It’s no secret that the movie industry has a major gender problem. According to the latest stats provided by Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, out of the top 100 films in 2014, only 21 featured a female lead or co-lead. Furthermore, when the lead was a woman, the character’s representation was rarely anything close to empowering. In fact, female characters were 11.6% more likely than men to be depicted as caregivers, 19.9% more likely to be shown in sexy attire, and 17.3% more likely to be nude or partially nude. Sigh.

The new Ghostbusters movie is a major win in combatting these numbers, but it’s hardly a magic bullet. That said, it does mark a shifting in the tides, and a generation of women who are ready for equal representation on screen. Which is just one of the many reasons why Melissa McCarthy’s latest tweet totally made our hearts burst with pride. McCarthy tweeted out a picture that showed that it’s not just women on screen leading the film, but there a tons of women working behind-the-scenes on the movie as well. All those women got together, holding signs that say what their particular role is on the production. The result is mega inspiring.

Thanking Ellen Degeneres for her Gap line of children’s clothing, which promotes girl power, Melissa tweeted the photo with an empowering message. “3 cheers to Ellen from all the remarkable women of #Ghostbusters,” Melissa wrote. “When we stand together we are unstoppable!#GirlPower [sic]”.

This is EXACTLY what we want to see. After all, the representation of female characters in film isn’t the only problem; in fact, according to a recent study, a mere 17% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers were women last year. In the face of such disappointing statistics, it’s so important to champion women in entertainment and highlight the importance of standing together to change the industry as we know it.

Though Melissa has been a strong voice in this fight for some time now, she’s not the only one. Actresses like Rose Byrne, Kristen Stewart, Heather Matarazzo, Tatiana Maslany, and Julianne Moore have all spoken up about sexism in the industry, from acting to behind-the-camera to the red carpet. But they’re not just talking about it. Elizabeth Banks has risen to the directing podium in direct response to the gender inequality she’s witnessed, while Maisie Williams has been actively rejecting roles that would portray women as just a crutch to a man or a “hot piece.” Together, women are fighting to turn the tides of sexism in the film industry. And together, they will.

Related reading:

The first official ‘Ghostbusters’ cast photo could not be any more perfect

The first candid photo of the new ‘Ghostbusters’ is everything

[Images via Twitter and Facebook]

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