Commentary & Perspective

Hidden Figures: Why it’s Crucial to Support this Film

Hidden Figures, which hits theaters January 6, tells the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. These three African-American women overcame gender and racial barriers to help develop NASA’s space program and change history forever.

Hidden Figures is a film which aims to inspire young women, as Mimi Valdes, executive producer of Hidden Figures, explained during the GHC 16 Friday Keynote. She also stressed how critical it is for audiences to support the film during the first weekend of its release. “It is really important for people to see this movie the first weekend because Hollywood makes its decisions on whether they will do other movies like this based on the success of that first weekend.”

There is a dire need for Hollywood to make more movies that equally represent women. A study was done on the top grossing films of 2015 using the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ), a software tool which analyzes audio and video media content. GD-IQ revealed male characters received twice the amount of screen time as female characters, and spoke twice as often as female characters, too. Films with male leads had an even wider gender gap, with male characters receiving three times the amount of screen time and lines as female characters.

“Media that is more representative of our society not only fosters a more inclusive industry,” Geena Davis stated in the report, “but by increasing the number and diversity of female leaders and role models on screen, content creators are affecting the ambitions and career aspirations of young girls and young women everywhere. If she can see it, she can be it.”

We couldn’t agree more, which is why ABI staff members will be going to the theaters this weekend to support the film. We can’t wait to see the story of these extraordinary women unfold on the big screen!

Watch the trailer for Hidden Figures.