At one point, I got so impassioned in making a point about how entertainment media can be utilized to effectuate positive social change that I had to stop and check myself. I laughed as I said, “I realize we’re just talking about a TV show.”
Later, however, I realized it’s not “just” a TV show. Entertainment media – TV shows, for example – are the method by which we, as a society, tell stories about who we are and the consistent stories and characters we see, over and over, become deeply imbedded in our psyche. The perceptions created by entertainment media can become very real, even if they are based upon total fiction, sometimes with good effects, sometimes neutral, and sometimes with very ill effects, indeed.
The majority of female characters we see on network television and in big-budget Hollywood films embody what I call the 4 S’s (technically, 5, I guess):
They’re also overwhelmingly white. 
That’s a problem.
First and most obviously, it’s a problem for women – particularly women of color – because we do not see ourselves or our stories reflected in our media, which leads to cultural isolation and alienation.
Secondly, and far less talked about, it’s a problem for men and society at large because mass entertainment media is failing to provide them with images of us or stories about us that encompass our multi-faceted humanity, which encourages them to see us in ways that are superficial and one dimensional, making it so much easier to dehumanize us, abuse us, harass us, view us as less than. In discounting us, they then close themselves off from a vast pool of talent. They close themselves off from intelligent, creative women who have significant value to society that are, in too many instances, being knee capped before they can even begin.
If we really want to create a positive cultural shift in how we both see and respond to gender, we need to see multi-faceted human beings that include women and LGBT people in our mass media and we need to be able to discuss and understand how gender biases manifest in small, as well as large, ways. For me, producing and acting in entertainment that does both of those things – like Mirror Mirror – is one way I can try to shift the dialogue about gender in my country.
**Photo courtesy of Photographer Corky Lee and the Film Lab**
 See, e.g., Slate (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/08/01/women_make_up_less_than_a_third_of_speaking_characters_in_top_u_s_movies.html)
 See, e.g., http://womenandhollywood.com/resources/statistics/2016-statistics/
 See id.
 See, e.g., https://mic.com/articles/4439/are-women-in-the-media-only-portrayed-as-sex-icons-statistics-show-a-massive-gender-imbalance-across-industries#.DvaWqk8JK
 See, e.g., http://womenandhollywood.com/resources/statistics/2016-statistics/; see also https://wmc.3cdn.net/10c550d19ef9f3688f_mlbres2jd.pdf