ePaper

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

One female director for every 22 men: Hollywood's stark diversity problem

  • Print

The film industry has had momentous upheavals over the last 12 months, but an annual diversity survey has found that the US movie industry is no more diverse than it was a decade ago, and "there was no meaningful or sustained change in 2017" for female, black or Asian directors in Hollywood.

The report, commissioned by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, surveyed 1,100 films made in the last 11 years, and found that just 4% were directed by women - which equates to 22 male directors hired for every woman.

The study found that female directors typically had shorter careers. On average they started later and ended earlier than those of men, and 83.7% of women never directed a second movie, as opposed to 55.3% of men. Women were more likely to face a "fiscal cliff", finding it significantly harder to graduate from independent, low-budget features and television to higher-grossing movies.

Furthermore, just 5.2% of all directors - male and female - were black or African American, and 3.2% were Asian. Of the 43 female directors who made movies between 2007 and 2017, four have been black, two Asian and one Hispanic (Mexico's Patricia Riggen, director of Chilean mining disaster dramatization The 33).

"Hollywood's 'female director problem' has been the source of much dialogue over the past several years," says the report's author, Stacy L Smith. "The evidence reveals that despite the increased attention, there has been no change for women behind the camera. Mere conversation is not the answer to these problems - and the time for conversation is up. Until major media companies take concrete steps to address the biases that impede hiring, nothing will change."

The findings will disappoint those hopeful for change in the film industry, after a year marked by dramatic revelations of sexual predation and harassment, and the subsequent #MeToo social media campaign. It appears these developments have yet to make an appreciable impact on the industry's power structures.

 "Some of the largest media companies in the world continue to underperform when it comes to hiring diverse directors and that inequality begins at the top," the report states. More than 82% of senior executives at the seven top media companies were male, the survey found, and of the women, a mere four were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.

On the directors' boards, under 20% of positions were filled by women, and four of the seven companies - 21st Century Fox, Sony, Comcast (parent company of Universal) and Lionsgate - had only one woman on their boards.


More News For this Category

A fusion of learning and attachment

| By and Ashim Kumar Paul
That evening I was surfing internet from my laptop. Wandering, I went to the website of National Academy for Educational Management (NAEM) and there I found a circular in
A fusion of learning and attachment

The Bengal Tigers and the Lion Hearts in Monica Ali's Brick Lane

| By and Md. Abu Yusuf
For more than a few weeks in the summer of 2001, British Asian Muslim youths took to the streets of the northern English towns of Bradford, Burnley and Oldham
The Bengal Tigers and the Lion Hearts in Monica Ali's Brick Lane

And its importance in online spaces

| By and Zarin Rafiuddin
There have been many pieces and articles talking about the #MeToo movement. I think the movement's credibility and exposure are good platforms for discussions to take place. One of
And its importance in online spaces

At the public theater, a mother, a daughter and deportation

| By and Liz Robbins
The creators of the musical "Miss You Like Hell," the musician Erin McKeown, left, the playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes and the director Lear deBessonet, set it in 2014 but
At the public theater, a mother, a daughter and deportation

Where men can go unscathed for crimes against women

| By and Zarin Rafiuddin
Anya Alvarez of the Guardian wrote an introspective article on Kobe Bryant winning an Oscar for his short-animated film, Dear Basketball. Kobe Bryant was a major basketball player in
Where men can go unscathed for crimes against women

A wave of young women running campaigns (and changing politics)

| By and Michael Tackett
The campaign manager spoke about her candidate's race with a veteran's prepossessing self-assurance. Emma Brown is hiring staff, managing a budget, building out a schedule and studying voter data,
A wave of young women running campaigns (and changing politics)

Of Arundhati Roy and war against people

| By and Yasif Ahmad Faysal
"All they have to do is to turn around and shoot. All the people have to do is to lie down and die." (The Ministry of Utmost Happiness)In an
Of Arundhati Roy and war against people

The socio-political shaming of couples in South Asia

| By and Zarin Rafiuddin
"Police swept through the Mumbai hotels at about 3 pm, going room to room, arresting more than 40 unmarried couples. All were charged. The college students were forced to
The socio-political shaming of couples in South Asia

I want to be a successful organizer of woman wrestling: Sherin Sultana

| By
21st Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018 is taking place in the middle of April in Australia. Bangladesh is going to participate there in various events including women wrestling. 
I want to be a successful organizer of  woman wrestling: Sherin Sultana

The Handmaid's Tale: A dystopian reading of women's realities

| By and Zarin Rafiuddin
One of Margaret Atwood's seminal works, The Handmaid's Tale, has been adapted into a TV series by the American network Hulu. This is the second adaptation of the
The Handmaid's Tale: A dystopian reading of women's realities

© 2018 The Asian Age