Hollywood sexism is back in the spotlight thanks to the New York Times’ in-depth investigation with a stunning number of female entertainment industry professionals willing to speak out.
100 female filmmakers, actresses and executives revealed shocking stories of how studio heads have overlooked them in favor of male counterparts simply because.
TheWrap breaks down five of the most explosive revelations from the story below.
Things Have Gotten Worse
Jennifer Lee, the co-director of “Frozen,” is forced to look back into film history to see women in truly complex roles. “I’ve gotten into watching old movies on TCM,” Lee said, “And what kills me is the female characters are fantastic, complicated, messy, and they aren’t over sexualized, and I love them.”
Women Have to Hide Emotions
Catherine Hardwicke, the director of “Twilight,” revealed that she has been chastised for crying while on set, and that such a thing is common for female filmmakers. A man gets a standing ovation for crying because he’s so sensitive, but a woman is shamed,” she said.
Career Trajectories Are Skewed
“Bessie” writer and director Dee Rees feels that men are given the benefit of the doubt, while women, particularly black women, have to prove they are not incompetent. “They just think the guy in the ball hat and the T-shirt over the thermal has got it, whether he’s got it or not,” she said. “For buzzy first films by a white male, the trajectory is a 90-degree angle. For us, it’s a 30-degree angle.”
Some Want Women to Be More Aggressive
Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, feels that women need to put themselves out there more if they want to get attached to big-budget franchise pictures.
“Until I waved the flag at the Fortune women’s conference recently, I had not had one single phone call from a woman telling me that she really, really wants to direct a ‘Star Wars’ movie,” Kennedy said. “They need to be the ones picking up the phone and saying, ‘Hey, let me tell you what ‘Star Wars’ means to me and how much I could do with it.’”
“Risk Is Risk”
Studio executives are more willing to take risks on male directors, but time has proven those risks don’t always pay off. Rees pointed out that indie filmmaker Josh Trank got the chance to direct “Fantastic Four,” only for the movie to bomb spectacularly.
“It proves that risk is risk,” Rees said. “So you might as well take a risk on people with a different perspective.”
Watch TheWrap’s interview with Helen Mirren on Hollywood sexism below.