Power of Inclusion Summit headliner Geena Davis slams Hollywood's continued lack of inclusivity, diversity

The reviews are in, and despite girl power storming Hollywood in recent years, the industry's overall bid for diversity has been slammed for its glacial pace. 

Actress and activist Geena Davis, who is in New Zealand to headline a summit on inclusivity and diversity on the screen, spoke exclusively to Newshub about the industry's battle for equality.

"I think there's been a big awakening, we're all talking about it now," says Davis. 

But talk is cheap for the Hollywood legend - she knows from experience.

In 1991, Davis made up half of the female-fronted, popcorn-dropping duo, Thelma and Louise. 

"All the press was saying, 'okay, this changes everything - there's gonna be so many movies starring women'. And I was like, 'that's fabulous'.

Spoiler alert - nothing changed.

"I'm waiting for this great change to happen, and well... it hasn't happened yet," she says.

Davis even established a research institute to prove the lack of gender diversity in Hollywood.

She refers to the data as "the absolute golden key".

In 2018, the 56 highest-grossing films worldwide featured twice as many men than women, and men spoke twice as much. Females were four times more likely to be shown naked, and not a single film was directed by a woman.

"In many ways, it's more important to have people behind screen and off-camera representing the world around us because that's how you get the most authentic story," says American actress, model and activist Yara Shahidi. 

Nineteen-year-old Shahidi is Geena Davis' supporting actor at the Power of Inclusion Summit. She's a star of the hit show Black-ish, and Oprah's very own pick for President.

"Our first instinct is to plug a person of colour or a woman into an existing role, rather than what's more essential - which is the creation of new things," says Shahidi.

The female 007 and Lady Thor, coming up 4.5 stars short of true diversity.