by Shannonn Kelly
07:04AM, EST, January 15, 2014
Twenty-two year-old Eden Sher who plays Sue Heck in ABC’s “The Middle“, wrote a great article about that lack of female directors in Hollywood called, “I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?” In part she wrote:
“Having women steer the ship makes all the difference in the world.
For example, I worked on a show in 2006 (another sitcom for ABC) that was created and run by men. There were only two female staff writers. All the producers were male. Every director, too. But despite the bro-heavy environment, these guys were not bad or misogynistic — in fact, they were awesome, progressive and kind. And yet nary a woman in sight.
So what was the problem? Why did this show reek of peen? It wasn’t because of some deep-seated aversion to women in the workplace. Rather, the problem was that these guys seemed to only hire people who were exactly like them: guys. And while working with what’s comfortable and familiar is all well and good, if your goal is to create an honest story about men and women interacting with one another — as was the aim of this particular show — you’re definitely going to miss the mark if you don’t have any input from a real, live female.
The show was canceled after twelve episodes”.
Well, now there’s some hard data to back her position and many more under employed women in the film industry.
A new study by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. has been published that maintains the “Celluloid Ceiling” still exists for women working behind the scenes in Hollywood and it’s gotten worse.
According to Lauzen’s Study
(The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind the Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2011
by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. Copyright© 2012 –All rights reserved.)
In 2011, women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers,producers, writers, cinematographers,and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 2010 and an increase of 1 percentage point from 1998 (see Figure 1).
The following summary provides employment figures for 2011 and compares the most recent statistics with those from previous years.
This study analyzed behind the scenes employment of 2,636 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films (foreign films omitted) of 2011.
- 38% of films employed 0 or 1 woman in the *Scene roles considered
- 23% employed 2 women,
- 30% employed 3 to 5 women,
- 07% employed 6 to 9 women.
Scenes Roles* includes directors, writers, executive producers editors, and cinematographers.
Women comprised 5% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2011. Ninety four percent (94%) of the films had no female directors.
According to Actress turned Screenwriter Ariane Sommer:
“What needs to happen is to continue to forge the new paradigm, as evidenced by Kathryn Bigelow’s masterful direction, and allow women to express themselves beyond the female-centric and family fare. On an executive level, I think we are doing that, as for years we have been seeing high-powered women that are killing it. Sherry Lansing, for example, ran Paramount Studios for years and has forged the way for many others.”
It’s no surprise to any of us women in other non-Hollywood markets that this is the case. Even in filmmaking communities where I live, even though, they say they are an ‘equal opportunity employer’. If the job is in the film industry and it’s not in Craft Services, you can bet they are not….
What’s your feeling…? Film industry Men or Women…I’d love to know your thoughts.