Ethan Hawke Calls Out Hollywood on Gender Inequality: ‘The Movie Business Is Such a Boys Club’ (Video)

“Boyhood” actor says he supports co-star Patricia Arquette’s Oscar night speech and also reveals why he turned down “Independence Day”

Ethan Hawke is the latest Hollywood figure to speak out on gender inequality in the entertainment industry.

Hawke stopped by Ora TV’s “Larry King Now” Wednesday to promote his new movie “Good Kill,” which opens Friday. During their conversation, the veteran actor was asked to comment on his “Boyhood” co-star Patricia Arquette‘s Oscars acceptance speech in which she demanded wage equality and equal rights for women.

“Patricia is a brass tacks, old-school feminist and I have so much respect for her,” Hawke said. “I think it’s about time. She’s right.”

Hawke then got specific about the movie industry in particular.

“I have been making movies for 30 years. I’ve done probably more than 40 movies, and this year is the first time I’ve been directed by a woman,” he said. “People think this gender equality thing has happened, but it’s fascinating having three daughters and seeing the world through their eyes. It really does turn you into a feminist.”

His comments came one day after the American Civil Liberties Union announced it planned to ask state and federal agencies to investigate Hollywood studios, networks and talent agencies, and possibly charge them, over what the ACLU described as rampant and intentional gender discrimination in recruiting and hiring female directors.

Meanwhile, Hawke didn’t just discuss serious issues. He also recalled the “stupidest” movie he ever turned down — the 1996 action adventure “Independence Day.” He was offered the role eventually played by Will Smith, as a fighter pilot tasked with saving the world from aliens.

“I just thought the story was totally dopey, and I couldn’t understand it,” he recalled. “I remember reading the script and making fun of some of the lines to my friends. ‘Look at this terrible line, E.T. phone home, what a terrible line!’ I went [to see the movie] Fourth of July weekend and I watched the audience love it, and I watched Will Smith get the biggest laugh on that line that I had made fun of.”

But Hawke doesn’t have any regrets over how things turned out.

“It didn’t make me regret it,” he said. “It made me realize he was meant to play that part, because I didn’t even get it. I didn’t even get that it was funny, that’s how dumb I was.”

Watch the video about gender inequality above and Hawke’s comments on “Independence Day” below.