Maureen Dowd wrote a great piece on the state of women in Hollywood for New York Times Magazine this week. It's great to see this topic getting coverage in major media! One crazy statistic she notes: "In both 2013 and 2014, women were only 1.9 percent of the directors for the 100 top-grossing films." Click below to read the full article!
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Matt Damon, whose work and grin I generally love, recently made this disappointing comment about trying to increase diversity of the people making decisions behind the camera (directors, producers etc):
“When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” he said “You want the best director.”
I think it's important to realize that even intelligent, talented, tasteful power players like Matt Damon can be this myopic about how film quality is affected by continually putting the same type of person behind the camera. They may be the best at making a certain type of film, but what about improving the quality of films we haven't already seen a million times?
Here's a link to a New York Times article with more coverage:
Bustle has had a lot of great coverage about the underrepresentation of women in film over the years. They even interviewed Bechdel (of the Bechdel Test for female representation in film) herself last year after she won a MacArthur Genius Award. I'm pleased to have an article I wrote on their front page today.
Check out the article here.
About 81% of the time when people throw out a statistic, they don't know where the number came from or how accurate it is.
Seriously though, when we're talking about numbers as dramatic as the ones that capture the proportion of film positions with decision-making power held by women, its easy to just assume they must be an exagerration.
And so, I present: Exhibit A.
This article on indiewire is a great (and thoroughly cited) summary of the state of women in Hollywood over the past eight years.
The most recent numbers are from 2013 :
- Women directed 4.7% of studio films from 2009-2013
Women directed 10% of independent films from 2009-2013
- Women represent a total of 30% of characters, 29% of speaking parts 15% of protagonists/leads.
- Women are younger than men onscreen. The majority of women on screen are in their 20s and 30s, while men are in their 30s and 40s.