Women Directors Have It Worse Than Ever
February 1, 2014

An impressive article from Entertainment Weekly points out how much of a glass ceiling still exists in Hollywood.

According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film’s Celluloid Ceiling report, 2013 marked a dismal year for women in behind-the-scenes jobs on the top 250 grossing movies. Filmmakers with XX chromosomes accounted for only 16 percent of the directors, writers, ­executive producers, producers, editors, and ­cinematographers on those films — a drop of 1 percent from 1998. And only 6 percent of the top films last year were helmed by women, down from 9 percent.

Amy HeckerlingKathryn BigelowJulie Taymor

Can you identify these successful female directors?

The problem, in part, is due to fewer, bigger budget films being made. As studios depend more on fewer releases, they want known quantities helming their investments. And those are men, since they’re the ones with the track records. It’s a similar reason to how the legacy, title-carrying superhero characters are all white guys — they’ve got the history behind them. Sexism perpetuates itself, because women have fewer years of possibility and experience. Men are better-known, so they’re seen as less risky to pin a comic book or a movie to.

And then there’s this: “women get less credit for a blockbuster and more blame for a bomb.” You’ve seen this in comics, too. It’s most obvious when there’s a male/female writing team: the good stories are assumed to be his, while anything anyone doesn’t like is attributed to the woman. Plus, mistakes are attributed to all women, much like how Daredevil didn’t kill the superhero movie, but Catwoman is still brought up as why a female character can’t headline. (Regardless of The Hunger Games.)

One Response  
Dwight Williams writes:  

Agreed. Hunger Games ought to have buried the Catwoman argument long ago.



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