Barry Jenkins, Regina King and Rami Malek Break Down How to Address the Directing Gender Gap (Video)

Honorees at the Palm Springs International Film Festival share thoughts on how to affect gender diversity in the director’s chair

Last Updated: February 4, 2019 @ 4:59 PM

How will Hollywood work to address the gender gap among film directors? The honorees at the Palm Springs International Film Festival shared some ideas with us.

Barry Jenkins, Regina King, Rami Malek and Linda Cardellini reacted to a new study that revealed female directors worked on just four of the top 100 films released in 2018, the lowest number in at least four years. And while the honorees at the Film Awards Gala were celebrating diversity on screen, TheWrap asked what still needs to be done to address disparities in the industry off-screen and in the director’s chair.

“The disparity between male and female directors is pretty atrocious,” Malek said in a video interview with TheWrap. “We can do everything possible the way we do with every aspect of our lives to bring equality to film, filmmakers and make sure everyone has a voice.”

King, who stars in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and is a director herself, said that male directors are frequently given numerous second chances and opportunities that are never afforded to women in the industry.

“When we get a job or an assignment, there’s more pressure on us to do a good job,” King said. “As soon as we change that stigma or take the stigma out of that, that is one of the first steps to seeing those percentages increase.”

Barry Jenkins, King’s director on “If Beale Street Could Talk,” echoed her sentiments, saying that being aware of studies like these are very important toward solving the problem.

“We have to watch, where are those directors going to go next,” Jenkins said. “What can we do to make sure the focus stays on them and provide them opportunities for their career to go from this place to this place to this place?”

“Green Book” star Linda Cardellini stressed that championing the work of female directors and helping to give underrepresented groups and ideas a platform in the mainstream should be everyone’s “personal responsibility.”

“I think as much as we can possibly do to get any underrepresented person, group, idea into the mainstream is a wonderful thing. I think that there can always be more to do,” Cardellini said. “Personal responsibility and trying to get out there and work with people you admire and champion any kind of talent is a wonderful thing to do when you have the opportunity, and hopefully you get more opportunities to be more inclusive.”

Watch the video from the Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala above.

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