Reese Witherspoon gets sassy over gender equality, calls for female hires at entry level in film

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Reese Witherspoon saw the gender equality questions coming a mile away Saturday as she sat down for a spotlight conversation at the 2015 Produced By Conference in Los Angeles.

A signature event of the Producers Guild of America, the two-day program on the Paramount Pictures lot drew Witherspoon and partner Bruna Papandraea, who discussed their young company Pacific Standard's big successes in "Gone Girl" and "Wild." But naturally moderator and producer Will Packer brought up the gender equality issues plaguing the entertainment industry.

"What is a movie for women?" Packer asked. A visibly frustrated Witherspoon shot back, "it's a hot button question, Will. Don't kick the hornet's nest ... do you like those questions?"

Packer's credits include "Ride Along" and "Think Like A Man," which could be considered African-American themed films. "This business loves to categorize," Packer said in his defense.

Witherspoon used the Academy Award nominated "Wild" as an example of what financiers and industry colleagues thought was "a movie about a girl hiking. It's actually about a human being. It's a about a human being dealing with grief and loss."

The "Hot Pursuit" star and Papandrea also underscored their commitment to finding more opportunities for women in front of and behind the camera. Witherspoon said she struggled to find female or non-white staff in entry level jobs on movie sets, which she believes is crucial in resume building.

"I feel like it starts very young. Women who are writers and women who are directors are not getting those critical internships when you are 18, 19, 20, 21 I mean ... just looking around, I'm standing on set looking for the female interns, latin American interns," said Witherspoon.

"When we were doing 'Hot Pursuit' we had these Latin American writers. I mean, it was so hard to find a Latin American comedy writer. I'm calling everybody who runs a TV show. We need to develop the talent when they are 18, 19 years old and that responsibility is on us, our companies, other people in this audience that own companies. Let's find these young women. The best way to learn how to make a movie or a television show is to be standing on set."

Produced By concludes on Sunday, and will also feature panel discussions with "Devious Maids" producer Eva Longoria and the team behind Fox's hit "Empire."

Read original story Reese Witherspoon Gets Sassy Over Gender Equality, Calls for Female Hires at Entry Level in Film at TheWrap

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Reese Witherspoon gets sassy over gender equality, calls for female hires at entry level in film
Actress Reese Witherspoon, right, and Shannon Rotenberg attends the 2015 CISLA Annual Gala in Los Angeles on Monday, May 18, 2015. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 4: Reese Witherspoon at Good Morning America promoting her new film, 'Hot Pursuit' on May 4, 2015 in New York City. Credit: RW/MediaPunch/IPX
Reese Witherspoon seen at the New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Premiere of "Hot Pursuit" on Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Warner Bros./AP Images)
Reese Witherspoon, left, and Sofia Vergara arrive at the LA Premiere Of "Hot Pursuit" held at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Los Angeles (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Reese Witherspoon, left, and Sofia Vergara, cast members in the upcoming film "Hot Pursuit," pose together before the Warner Bros. presentation at CinemaCon 2015 at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Sofia Vergara, left, and Reese Witherspoon arrive at the 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)
Reese Witherspoon arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
TELLURIDE, CO - AUGUST 30: Actress Reese Witherspoon speaks at a seminar at Elks Park at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival - Day 2 on August 30, 2014 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images For Telluride Film Festival)
TELLURIDE, CO - AUGUST 30: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the 2014 Telluride Film Festival - Day 2 on August 30, 2014 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images For Telluride Film Festival)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21: Reese Witherspoon is seen on August 21, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08: Reese Witherspoon is seen on August 08, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 07: Reese Witherspoon is seen on August 07, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GONZALO/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 06: Reese Witherspoon is seen in Beverly Hills on August 06, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 31: Reese Witherspoon is seen in Beverly Hills on July 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Reese Witherspoon, Stella McCartney and Kate Bosworth attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Reese Witherspoon, Stella McCartney and Kate Bosworth attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 29: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends The Colleagues' 26th Annual Spring Luncheon at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on April 29, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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