Guerrilla Girls Bring Back ‘Senate Is More Progressive Than Hollywood’ Campaign

In 1999, there was a higher percentage of women in the U.S. Senate than of directors working on Hollywood films — 20 years later, it’s still true

Twenty years ago, the feminist art collective Guerrilla Girls put out a sharp campaign comparing female representation in politics and Hollywood, declaring that the U.S. Senate was more progressive than the ostensibly liberal film industry. Now they’re bringing it back.

The group is teaming with the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, making their annual “Celluloid Ceiling” study the core of their new campaign. As the study noted last month, only 4 percent of the top 100 films in 2018 were directed by women — the exact same as it was in 1999.

As Guerrilla Girls notes, the percentage of women in the Senate has increased from 9 percent in 1999 to 25 percent after last year’s midterm elections, leading to their slogan declaring that  “Hollywood is still worse than the U.S. Senate.”

Senate Hollywood Guerilla Girls

Guerilla Girls

“The intent of the campaign is to illustrate that 20 years later, the film industry continues to lag behind even our most staid political institutions,” commented Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center.

“The side-by-side comparison offers a way of conceptualizing how little Hollywood has changed over the last two decades. While numerous media outlets dubbed 2018 the ‘year of the women’ due to the upsurge in the numbers of women who ran for and won political office, the same can’t be said for the employment of women as film directors.”