The number of females working in film hasn't really grown in 20 years, and this is seriously bumming us out
Along with the crucial need for women to be paid equally in Hollywood, they also need to be given more opportunities to work behind the camera. We’re talking about directors, cinematographer, editors, producers, and all the other important roles that help make movie magic happen.
Yet, according to a report from the Center of the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, the numbers of women working behind-the-scenes is pretty grim. In fact…we haven’t really advanced since 1998. The research showed that only “17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the 250 top domestic grossing films” in 2016, were female. WTF?!
And women accounted for only 7% of directors. That’s right…93% of the top domestic grossing films employed male directors! The stats are even worse for female cinematographers, who were employed on just 5% of the top 250 films.
via giphyBUT let’s look on the bright side, there have been a number of solid films lately that are helmed by women; Queen of Katwe is directed by Mira Nair, and last year’s Maggie’s Plan was written and directed by Rebeca Miller (her fifth feature film to date), and of course there’s the upcoming Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins, obviously a huge blockbuster that we hope will pave the way for other women to get their foot in the studio door.
via giphyAnd rest assured, there are a number of female directors breaking barriers in Hollywood, such as Ava DuVernay, Jill Soloway, and Sofia Coppola, and they are creating brilliant work. There are also spirited men like Ryan Murphy who show the future is female — more than 50% of the directors on his shows are women.
However, even with these amazing trailblazers, it’s clear we have a long way to go when it comes to gender equality in Hollywood. The good news is we are SO up for this challenge, and the more we discuss the disparity and ways to change it, the closer we get to true progress.
Are we mad about these numbers? Yes. Hopeless? Absolutely not. Someday, hopefully not too far down the line, Hollywood will recognize what an asset they have in female artists. And until that day, we’ll keep our eye on the ball and continue to push for meaningful change!