Wertmüller’s speech was the capstone of an evening devoted to end some of Hollywood’s exclusionary traditions, and celebrating inclusivity. Wertmüller became the first woman ever to be nominated for a best director Oscar for 1976’s Seven Beauties.
Geena Davis, 63, became the 39th recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which celebrates “outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes” for building on her acting career in films like The Accidental Tourist, Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own to become an advocate for gender equality in media.
The evening’s other honorees included director David Lynch, who found wide audiences for surrealist films like Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, and Wes Studi, a Cherokee American actor who has appeared in more than 30 films, including Dances With Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans and Avatar.
Geena Davis delivered a version of the gender-parity pitch she has made in recent years. This time speaking to the industry group gathered in the Dolby ballroom. “Thelma and Louise made me realize how few opportunities we give women to come out of a movie feeling excited and empowered by the female characters,” Davis said.
“The message we are sending is that men and boys are far more valuable to us than women and girls. Whatever you’re working on right now, boost the number of female characters…and then, cast me!”Genna Davis at the Governors Awards
Studi’s speech also noted decades of underrepresentation in the industry. “I’d simply like to say, it’s about time,” Studi said, accepting his Oscar. “It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’m really proud to be here tonight as the first indigenous Native American to receive an Academy Award. It’s a humbling honor to receive an award for something I love to do.”
Ford v Ferrari’s Christian Bale, presenting Studi, his Hostiles co-star, with his Oscar, put a finer point on the issue. “Too few opportunities in film have gone to Native or indigenous artists and we’re a room full of people who can change that,” Bale said.
Source: Hollywood Reporter