An Oscar-Nominated Director Gets Real About How Women Are Treated in Hollywood

An Oscar-Nominated Director Gets Real About How Women Are Treated in Hollywood

The following is cross-posted from Lexi Alexander’s blog with permission from the author.

Editor’s Note: The post below is very important. This is a woman director standing up for herself and other women directors. She does this at great peril, but it is so important that women directors stand up and share their experiences because the more women that stand up the less chance there is for one women to be held responsible for speaking truth to power.

There are only two kinds of people who are successful at this social media thing. Those who are funny and those who get real. I am not that funny, and I have yet to get real publicly. 

Today is a good day to change that. Since funny is not an option, I am going to take a deep breath, muster up all the courage I can, and talk about an issue I have long observed despairingly from the sidelines. 

Over the past three or four months I have been contacted by a civil liberties organization regarding this issue, I have spoken to several reporters anonymously, I’ve had lawyers call me to inform me that my forty-minute Academy Award-nominated short film somehow uniquely qualifies me for something I never, ever wanted to qualify for (it has to do with an excuse showrunners like to use when turning down feature directors for episode gigs), I even attended two DGA Women’s Steering Committee meetings, and the best part, I have met many fellow women directors.

Facts:

1) The media has never covered the lack of women in film and television more extensively than right now (skip the links if you must, just trying to make a point):

“Because We Need More Kathryn Bigelows: Segregate the Oscars by Gender!”

“Only Two of the 100 Top-Grossing Movies of the Year Were Directed by Women”

“The Bigger the Film, the Fewer the Women: Nominations for This Year’s Oscars Will Prove Hollywood’s Sexism”

“Golden Globes by Gender: Where Are All the Women?”

Quote of the Day: Manohla Dargis: ‘The Movie Industry is Failing Women'”

“Hollywood Sexist? Female Directors Still Missing in Action”

Those are just from the past few weeks. The list goes on and on.

2) There is no lack of female directors. Repeat after me: THERE IS NO LACK OF FEMALE DIRECTORS. But there is a huge lack of people willing to give female directors opportunities. I swear, if anyone near me even so much as whispers the sentence “Women probably don’t want to direct,” my fist will fly as a reflex action.

Side note: The previous statement labels me as “difficult”.

If I would instead have ended the sentence with, “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” I would be labeled as “indecisive.” By letter of the law, all female directors must fall in one of two categories: Difficult or Indecisive. Bitch or Ditz. Hello, my name is Lexi Alexander, Difficult Bitch. Nice to meet you!

3) Despite the fact that plenty of outlets love to cover the “Women in Hollywood” issue, not one mainstream journalist has had the balls to really get to the bottom of the issue. (There are rumors about a prominent investigative journalist circling the story, but I’ll believe it when I read it.)

4) Gender discrimination in Hollywood goes far beyond women simply not getting the gig. It is reflected in movie budgets, P&A budgets, the size of distribution deals (if a female director’s movie is lucky enough to score one), official and unofficial internship or mentorship opportunities, union eligibility, etc.

5) Women in Hollywood have no male allies. There are some who pretend to be on our side, but yeah, not really. They may say the right thing because, after all, they’re liberals and that’s a public image they’d like to keep up. Others may actually believe in gender equality, but are not willing to put up a fight for it that could sacrifice their own status or relationships.

The majority of people think exactly like those anonymous commenters that pop up under any of the above linked articles. Check them out, they’re easy to recognize: White male, oblivious to the affirmative-action bonus that came with the cradle? Yup, that’s him. He will shout and scream in capital letters about reverse discrimination and argue that people should be hired based on merit and not gender, revealing that his three-hundred-thousand-dollar education really isn’t worth a dime.

I’m going to get a lot of heat for the above statement, but I promised to get real. “What’s that? You’re saying this is not true, that there are many men in Hollywood who have tried to change the status quo?”

Okay. Let’s be fair and really dissect this. (I would love, love, love to be wrong about this).

This past Saturday I went to one of those Women’s Steering Committee meetings at the DGA. To be honest, after the first meeting I went to a few months ago, I swore I would never go again. It just seemed weird and kind of upside-down. The people with the most intelligent things to say were bullied into silence, and the bullies were applauded. One fairly prominent female director actually stated several times in a row: “Let me make this very clear: I am not here as one of you. I am one of the boys, okay?”

Don’t ask me to explain it. I still don’t understand it. It was surreal, to put it mildly.

But when it was announced that our new DGA president Paris Barclay, National Executive Director Jay Roth and Western Executive Director Bryan Unger would attend the next meeting to inform us how the negotiations with the studios went and what they had achieved in regards to diversity hiring, I had to go.

Also, I do have the sticker on my fridge about “being the change you want to see in the world.” 

Here are the points of the negotiation they shared with us:

1) The number of female directors working in film or TV has decreased and everybody finds this abysmal number embarrassing.

2) There were heated arguments about who’s responsible. The studio tried to put the blame on the DGA and its own small number of female members, but the negotiation committee reminded the executives that a woman can only become eligible to join the guild if she gets hired by a signatory company.

3) A Warner executive stated, “I am not embarrassed about what my company does, but I am frustrated by the lack of progress when it comes to gender equality.”

4) TV continues to hire 80% white males. The number of first-time directors breaking into TV is actually acceptable. Unfortunately, it’s only white males who do it.

5) The hiring process or the qualifications/skill-set needed to book an episode cannot be defined. (Is there an animated “jerking off” emoji?)

6) Shonda Rhimes gets it.

7) CBS doesn’t.

8) It was decided during the negotiations to change the wording regarding diversity hiring from “best efforts” to “work diligently.” [Editor’s note: Maria Giese also wrote a Women and Hollywood column regarding this mild-seeming but crucial shift in word choice.]

9) Nobody knows how to implement a successful diversity program. Many have tried and failed. SONY may have a plan that works.

10) The DGA needs to come up with ideas and present them by July.

Sigh.

Look, everybody who was present during these negotiations reported back to us that Paris, Jay, and Co. fought and argued passionately for diversity and the women’s cause. That’s not up for debate here.

But can we please, please stop pretending that everybody is trying their best and that it’s just an impossible task to accomplish?

It’s this type of fake activism that drives me fucking crazy. JUST STOP!

Do you know who Kellan Elliott-McCrea is? No? Well let me introduce you:

He is the CEO of Etsy and someone who decided to make diversity a core value.

Because Etsy’s customers are 80% women (hello, TV audience), gender diversity became a priority. His efforts in the first year to increase the number of female engineers failed. As a matter of fact, they saw a 35% decrease in gender diversity. He realized, “Something wasn’t working, this was deeply broken.” So he and his team put their heads together, reevaluated their plan, identified potential road blocks, came up with a new plan, and voila:

Etsy increased their female employees by 500%.

Now, Kellan may rock a hair-do reminiscent of a famous genius and clearly he must be wicked smart, but as far as I know he’s not uniquely gifted in the IQ department.

But you know what he is? Sincere. He actually meant what he said, rather than having some mental masturbation session about gender equality.

Now, before you spit fire and release smoke out of your ears, just do me a simple favor and educate yourself about the history of diversity in Hollywood, because before I decided to take a stand on this, I did exactly that.

If you read only one thing, please read this report from 1978, when the EEOC investigated equal-employment practices in the motion picture industry.

Okay, so we know that people have seriously acknowledged that there is an problem back in 1978, thirty-five years ago. Promises were made even back then to “work diligently” to fix the imbalance.

The fact that there has been no improvement in thirty-five years can only really mean two things:

1) Those who have promised to bring about change were insincere.

or

2) Those who have promised to bring about change were not very smart.

You choose.

Can we all just be real for a second here? Ask yourself this: If diversity hiring were a sincere core value in Hollywood’s studios, do you honestly believe they’d fail?

I’m going to end this with a personal opinion. Only this month, I received two meeting requests from companies whose mandate in 2014 is to hire more women, so the tide maybe shifting. And I do appreciate their effort so very much.

Truth: I loathe the idea of being hired because of my gender and I shudder at the thought that one day I show up on set and half of the crew thinks, “Here comes the quota hire.”

When I was still fighting competitively [in world point fighting and karate], one of the best tournaments I ever attended was the Dacascos Open in Hamburg. They had a ranking system going on all year, but because I hadn’t attended any other tournaments within their organization, I was given “wildcard” status, which meant I had to fight everybody, while their top fighters are automatically placed in the semi-finals. If I lose, I am out. Those were literally impossible, ridiculous odds, invented to discourage outsiders. It was also the best tournament I ever fought, and yes, I won it all. I thrive on impossible odds, always have.

I don’t care if Hollywood dishes out the same impossible odds, I don’t care if they built a wall as thick as the commies did in East Berlin, and I don’t care if I have to be ten times as good as a male director to get 1/8th of the opportunities he gets… as long as people are honest about the game we’re playing, the tournament we’re fighting.

But don’t tell me I’m not a wildcard when I so obviously am, and don’t tell me you’ve been working diligently to eliminate the wildcard system, when in reality you’re not.

Because then you’re not only jerking me off, you are also dehumanizing me by not extending even an ounce of respect.

For future generations of girls, who may get the crazy idea that they too have stories to tell, it should become our core value to stop handing out wildcard status based on gender. 

To those who have promised to “work diligently” on increasing those abysmal, embarrassing statistics, I’d like to say this: If you find yourself stuck, hopeless, seemingly willing but utterly unable to remedy this gender disparity, head to this website the Swedes generously created for the public called Include Gender.

An entire toolbox full of ways to create a successful plan. Who knew?

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Comments

Curious

Lexi – I have two (sincere) questions for you that came to mind after reading your post. The first is, what specific and actionable solutions do you have for addressing the situation. I’m sure you would argue that the ultimate goal is equality of opportunity for anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity etc. So, how do we specifically get to that point? You rail against the current system to great affect, but don’t actually suggest anything constructive that the business could start doing tomorrow to address these problems. Second, how come you/any of these articles don’t ask why the multiple female studio heads and presidents of production don’t hire more female directors or writers? Everyone uses Colin Treverow on Jurassic Park as the example of cliche white male from indie land getting a big studio assignment, but the studio who made Jurassic (Universal) is run by Donna Langley. Why not ask her why she didn’t hire a woman for this, or for ANY of the Fast & Furious movies. Or ask Stacey Snider or Emma Watts why they didn’t hire any female directors this year for their tentpoles. Or ask Amy Pascal how many female writers or directors she met with for Spider-Man or for Bond. I know the easy/default position in this debate is that there is this evil, white male cabal that acts like a Star Chamber, but that isn’t really the truth entirely. Similarly, I’d ask the working female directors how many women DP’s they met with. The only way we will make any progress is by getting beneath the anger and digging deeper into why people aren’t getting the opportunities and how specifically we can address that.

Matt Johnson

Your link at the end seems to have changed. Judging by what it says i think you actually want this includegender.org/toolbox/tools-a-z

Liza Figueroa Kravinsky

Perhaps we should give them a binder full of women?

Adam

They were not "literally" impossible odds because…it would be impossible lol

Tess Banion

I wrote my thesis in 2011 about young women in film school "Agency Unrealized: Women students in film production classes." I interviewed a group of aspiring female filmmakers and what I found made me sad and disgusted. it starts early, accepting a male model of how to function and being afraid to step out and advance themselves. Since that time the department has hired more women professors which is a good start and probably had nothing to do with my thesis, the chair is a woman. The early films were directed by women but once money came into play in a big way women were relegated to the editing room. I say it is all about the money but it also about accepting what the dominate culture, white males, decide what is appropriate and fair. I say screw the DGA, break your union, it doesn’t work for women, and as for the woman that says she is "one of the boys" she is fooling herself. She is one of the boys until they decide she’s not.

Tarin

Lexi Alexander, you give me hope.

Dianne Gardner

Love your gumption! I needed this! As for me? First movie, female, over 60. Do I stand a chance? We’ll see!

Lucy

What a fantastic article. How many women are in positions of power at the DGA? I suspect it’s the same percentage or even lower than the powers that be over at HBO (which is why Game of Thrones is so sexist). Until women start being in the seats of power, this kind of imbalance will never change.

Liz

Women worry about getting the job because of their gender but men DO get the job because of their gender but we are so used to it we dont even realise its true.

Igor Komar

Nice Movies.i like it

Regards
Igor komor

Amanda

I'm just gonna close my eyes and plug my ears and keep making movies. LA LA LA LA LA LA!

Keystone

Do what the white male directors do.

Finance, film school and a short film or small-budget feature using your parent's money.
Then, go down to the synagogue and talk with potential financiers about doing something bigger.

Moses

Wow…getting real about how 'unfair' life is to 'women'. At least you all can sleep with directors, CEO's and men to get your way. I'm a highly educated individual in business (but am a minority and worse of all everyone judges me by my looks which people think I am a Muslim…and for every step forward I am given by the corporate world I have to take 2 steps back for it. Hollywood? Become sexually involved with a FREE MASON and the flood gates shall open for all of you. I don't think women understand adversity at all…Having 5 sisters who can't go 2 months with out a mate – – women have the upper hand…you just are not applying your hand in the right direction…fighting Hollywood or being a whistle blower in the state of California is a big – No.No. All the attorneys, municipalities, tax boards, police are anti-civilian to begin with – – so getting involved with these entities is a lost cause…My advise is to unionize, attain your own financeers and always use a board of people from Israel…you'll get places if you do this…

Sarah

I'm an actress and could talk endlessly about similar issues with casting of females. A network show I was on had its own troubles with firing the female leads because they wanted to save money and thought that they could get by with only the male leads due to the show type only to have a fan backlash. Look, while the gender hiring disparity is real I don't think it helps to be bitchy in the argument. It frames you as a complainer rather than a problem solver. And we need optimistic problem solvers here.

Also, the article does not address a very real fact that many women are also mothers. And while some would suggest that it shouldn't make a difference, well, it does … unless you want to outsource your mothering. And being a director, like acting, requires ALL of you. ALL the time. For an extended time. With runaway productions, that also means if you work in TV you might be asked to sign a contract that takes you away from your family for several weeks. If you're a mother, you might not want to do that. (Let alone a father.) So, to talk about women's directors and their careers without bringing in the practical aspects of it all I feel is one sided.

Additionally, if we talk about TV directing it really is a very long-term chase. The people in the pool to direct are the same people as the year before, and the year before that, etc. They are recycled and have seniority, so to speak. On a 22-episode TV series there are really only about 2-3 episodes that would allow for new blood to drop in. And who do you think they are going to choose? People who have directing experience as well as people they know. This means you have to get in the door and ask for mentoring/shadowing opportunities to get to know people and have them get to know you. And you need to constantly be working on film projects to showcase your work. It's a dedication to strategy and relationships, not chance. It's calculated. It's business.

Star Lawrence

Wow, many of these comments are snide! All the "retarded" refs, for example. I am a female trying to break into writing for animation–and the extremely talented (not sucking up) female directors of the genre–Brenda Chapman, Jennifer Lee, Betty Thomas–are just as hard to "get to" as the males. My past option and my Telly were for live action. Anyway, I am following this with interest. I see automatic sniffing at my age than my gender–or maybe that is a coverup. I don't even know anymore.

cjames

I'm so sick and tired of this feminist nonsense that is plaguing our society. Its women that are the sexist ones that are trying to make men obsolete in any profession. But if a man stands up and protects there rights women yell out "Your Sexist" or "You hate Women". But its ok for women to do it. There is a directors guild just for women. There are film festivals just for women. There are groups of women getting together and forming a circle so men don't get opportunities. I HAVE PROOF. I'm so fed up with feminist and feminist groups. I have a ton of male friends that are getting nowhere because of women. Up here in Canada our own union(ACTRA) has a woman president. What was the first thing she did? Can you guess? Its something when a guy was in charge never did. Thats he hint. Answer. Create a sexist Ad saying "Get Women Working". Unions are put into place to protect its members. Not to discriminate against. So QUIT thinking you women are so down trotting. You don't live in a 3rd world country. Then you'd have something to bitch about. I've been busting my Ass for years and still haven't broken in. Plus ever notice who survives horror films? Women. Or when they remake one what happens? The remake a whole film just to do role reversal(EVIL DEAD, The Hitcher, The THING etc etc etc). I think men should start fighting back because women are getting everything they want. Even guy films are gone. They ALWAYS have to have an Ass kicking woman in it. But yet chic flicks stay the stay the same(Some even man bash). So really do research. Feminist are even trying to block out mens health as well as there rights.

Marc

I am an aspiring director looking to get more into the film industry in LA. I've been here for 6 months, and it's hard. I'm also a 23 year old white male with a great reel. Does this make things seem easier for me? No. It's a dog eat dog world out here, my boss is a woman and what I've seen is that anyone can make it, regardless of gender. You just need the connections, drive and luck. Or money.

Happy

From one difficult bitch to another… well done in laying it on the line.

Barbara Everett Heintz

I no absolutely nothing about directing, but coming from what was a woman's profession before I was able to live the dream of writing and to now have a Film Option on what I wrote–I was a University trained nurse who had started out on a track for medical school. That was a dinosaur ago, but I took a master's level class after graduation toward management, and I was very sad to learn that being a nurse manager usually always meant–Being a bitch to other women. Now I had a lot of managers who never had this class–God Bless Them, but I think part of the morass and apathy about women is still–We think we gotta' be like the men. On that day when a pregnant, pre-menopausal women becomes director of the DGA, then perhaps women can rejoice in this magnificent self which is, "Woman," A lot more effort has been put forward in Hollywood to make certain a gay person is part of a sit com than to raise the level of women as stars and directors. To be a woman breaking barriers with estrogen overflowing, still blessing her sister women, and causing testicular contractions just seems to be some kind of problem, so lay it on me and let me know why? Barbara Everett Heintz

Marcy

Love this article. Thank you for sharing a little of what is going on in the inside of the industry. I have been wanting to know. Please keep us posted about how things are going. Thanks for fighting.

peculiar patriot

it's so interesting to read how white people negotiate the politics of who speaks, how to speak, who should speak and myriad forms of censorship. i agree with this post wholeheartedly in identifying mr. etsy as a perfect example of true change in action. men MUST snatch up the gauntlet and follow suit. judd apatow in relation to lena dunahm is a prime example. at the same time, white women need to be as diligent on behalf of people of color as they're requesting that men be on behalf of them. there is enough injustice and too people advocating for their own self interest to exercise a little selflessness. and karmically, it's necessary.

Zarya Rowland Bintz

So well put! Thanks for putting your experience out there. I've been thinking about how to express my frustration with the industry and your article nails it. I started out in cinematography in 1992 (photography in 1987) and quickly realized that I had to direct if I wanted to keep busy as no one would think about hiring a woman as a cinematographer. So I started writing producing and directing my own projects (including a 3D project shot on film in 1999). I've been making movies since 1992 but I don't stand a chance in hell of ever getting a job! I realized I had to be more proactive so I applied to the American Film Institute's Director's Workshop for Women thinking that even though the competition was probably stiff if I applied for 10 years in a row I had a 50/50 chance of getting in and proving myself enough to land a job. That was my thinking anyway until, after being rejected 2 years in a row (which I was totally expecting) I decided to go to the "open house" and see what the deal was. I had already written an email to the director of the program to find out what I could do to make my application better, with no response. The "open house" was actually a lecture and showing of one of the previous years participant's picture. During the lecture we were told that "less than 6% of films are directed by women" and that "f-stops are intimidating", as if to somehow explain away the problem as if it's caused by women! They then showed the film and it was a fine movie about a victim of domestic abuse. The director of the movie had very little previous experience in filmmaking and had hired a writer to write her idea. So what I came away from this with was that my experience as a director and background in cinematography was not what they were looking for. My lack of letters of recommendation the first year and my script formatting issues the second year were enough to completely eliminate me from their search for directors (I made an ally while there and she went over my past applications to tell me why I hadn't even gotten an interview). As far as I can tell my experience wasn't even considered. I have spent the months since this event last October processing what exactly happened and why do I feel so traumatized from it? I decided I couldn't possibly apply to the AfI again in good conscience and support them with my presence, should I actually get in, and I sent an email to my ally at the AFI explaining why I wasn't applying again. But I did not cc the director of the DWW, because I was afraid…and I have been wondering if I nailed the final nail into the coffin of my film "career" by choosing to boycott the AFI. Their recent list of 100 best movies of all time only made me feel better about my decision as it is really NOT a good list, but my desire for a career in film makes me think I shot myself in the foot. Thanks again for your bravery, Lexi, you inspired me to share my story…for better or for worse…

Dear You: The 1960s Are Over

"White male, oblivious to the affirmative-action bonus that came with the cradle?"

Try white male, stabbed in the face multiple times by his parents, lived in the projects around actual dead-broke violent minorities for years, did landscaping for years with immigrants, and is part of the new Hollywood industry that is primed and ready to totally annihilate your silly moral crusade. (And will be gloriously doing it, one line of code at a time)

But if we are going to generalize because we are "keeping it real", then allow me to continue the theme:

No one cares about your stories because, thanks to technology that I make, everyone has the ability to be heard by the whole world, for better or for worse. You're in an over-saturated old media loaded with risk chasing too few opportunities. But since you're too emotionally unstable, (Not a bitch or a ditz, just simply too unenlightened) you'll never understand basic supply-and-demand interactions and will permanently prefer blaming white male straw men because you PR handler told you it gets a lot of comments on Tumblr.

With that in mind, it is my absolute PRIVILEGE to be the first person to tell you this, Lexi: the 1960s are over. Adapt or die. If even Spielberg is saying the industry is over, it's not time to dig in and show how stubborn you are pursuing it. It's time to open up and show how adaptive you are.

Or ignore this post entirely and go back to whatever feel-good crusade Obama told you to lay into people about. That's cool, too, bro. Tumblr is thattaway.

Ellen Gavin

I wrote a blog on the same day as yours on the state of women in American theater. Lots of cross postings on Facebook of these two calls-to-arms. Thank you! Love to meet Lexi for further exploration/agitation! This comment section is not accepting a link, but if you go the Theater Communications Group Circle you can read it there, entitled: We've Had Enough.

Anonymous

I 100% agree that we need more women in film. My career in TV has been sculpted and basically created by powerful women. That being said, was this line very necessary;

"Now, Kellan may rock a hair-do reminiscent of a famous genius and clearly he must be wicked smart, but as far as I know he's not uniquely gifted in the IQ department."
Why lift his stature for equality to then undercut it with a side comment about his hair and intelligence?

And to say you were ending the article with an opinion is quite false being that the whole article is an opinion. I understand the need to be aggressive because this is clearly an issue that must be resolved but I felt that you over indulged yourself in that stereotype you so clearly defined for yourself in earlier in the article.

Sarah

Women have to be permitted the same opportunities to direct films before films by women directors can be numerous enough to gauge whether they would garner attention and make a profit. What people are describing are symptoms of the problem, not the actual problem. The problem is sexism against women in the film industry, and it is well-documented.

Women are not being given the green light as often because they are not men. It's not surprising men think this is fair and not discriminatory. They are ignorantly convinced it's due to women being lower-quality directors making lower-quality films. It's not. Does anyone really think Kangaroo Jack would have gotten out of the first meeting if the people who fund film-making were told a woman would be directing it? It's pants-on-head retarded how many mediocre films directed by men are given support while so few women can get their foot in the door. It's because of sexism, period.

The root of the problem is in our society, like every other on the planet, men are the default, and the term "women" translates to "less than men". Girls and women are expected (with little choice) to identify with male-centric stories, while boys and men are not held to the same expectations about female-centric stories. If men had to deal with women as the protagonist as often as women deal with male ones, men would pitch a screeching fit.

Valdoria

Would love to see more female directors.. maybe then we could see real movies without pervert shots of boobs and women dressing and undressing. I just want to see a lovely story in film, not be offended.

~G~

The director's name isn't conjugated properly. She actually has a male name. Nominally, she is a man. Not calling attention away from the issue, it's still important, but it just made me chuckle.

Keith

Perhaps the imbalance is due to lack of *quality* women directors and not sexism.

Ian

Follow. The. MONEY.
Behind it all, HW is about money. If the work produced by female directors garners attention and that leads to profit, the industry will move in that direction. You can try and change minds… but changing spending habits will change the world a whole lot faster and it's a whole lot easier. Lena Dunham got her show on HBO because HBO saw the profit predictions, not because she's a woman.

Now's the time

Great you've identified the problem
Now get all those talented female directors, writers and producers …use those talents to form distribution networks…(this would be the time as distribution systems are greatly changing) form a Girls club so to speak, and supported, elevate and create films that the world wants to see.
Be organised, creative and work hard. What better way to break through the glass ceiling then to ignore the establishment and build your own.

Robin

I see this type of comment all the time. The writer says "the more women that stand up the less chance there is for one women to be held responsible for speaking truth to power" Of course more women should stand up. But could the MEN stand up too? This society of ours has a blindspot on this matter. How for instance did civil rights start to change society? Part of the success was based on white people stepping up for the cause. Why is it always assumed that the women, alone, have to work so hard to change things. The men and women need to join arms to move the boulder down the road.

Andrew

I think what I'm missing here is an argument that Hollywood (an amorphous concept at best) is making inferior products and therefore, and most importantly, making less money because of pervasive discrimination against women. That is what they do, or should, care about – the bottom line. It's kind of a chicken-and-egg thing too – do women not pursue filmmaking as a career nearly as frequently as men (judging by film school admissions, not that this is the only route to a filmmaking career by any means) because they don't see high profile female filmmakers, or are there few high profile female filmmakers because not nearly as many pursue it as a career?

peter

Wow. This blog takes victimhood to a whole new level. Quit feeling sorry for yourself, Lexi. Perhaps Punisher: War Zone is the reason why you can't find work.

Therealgoldelox

Renee Saviour Thanks for posting this very important article. I think that the writer/director/blogger Alexis Alexander is bold and will probably do better than most because of it. If things haven't changed since the 70s for women in Hollywood we need to be bolder.The fact that she is using her notoriety as a Oscar-Nominated Director is particularly important as people ( especially white male producers who aspire to get nominated for an Oscar too) may stop to listen. And that is who needs to fight for more women to see real changes. It's not a easy thing to do on your own as in doing so people label you as difficult to work with or blacklist you. The topic about race and gender is hot right off the heals of the Golden Globes where white males won every single award that was not gendered. So all of the writing/ directing categories went to white men except the best film which went ironically to a black male Brit who made a film about slavery (so everyone in the industry should know what oppression looks like if they were oblivious before). I find it exhausting to have this conversation about sexism and racism in the film industry as I know now (through my many conversations who are experts on this topic) that racism and sexism for that matter are learned behaviour that people use in order to keep/maintain their privilege in society. Racism and sexism is irrational. This behaviour is unpredictable as people change the rules in order to maintain their power. So even there are some changes, people eventually make changes so that things go back to how they were. That is why this is exhausting. The other reason why it is exhausting is because it is institutionalize. When I go to pitch a film project 90% of the time I am pitching to a white man who may or may not understand privilege or power. We don't know where he stands on the issue of diversity all we know is that what we are creating doesn't fit the mandate of their studio. Then some white male first time director will get the job for being "innovative." Having said that, most of my hires have come from female producers. The best thing we can do as filmmakers is be bold and make it about money. Build an audience, make our films and make money. Stop trying to fit into a system and institution that is sexist and racist but make your own. Etsy founder ( a white male who gets it) is doing just that and probably laughing all the way to the bank. That is the only way.

David Miller

Hollywood is the global capital of "mental masturbation session(s) about" — fill in the blank — of the cause that would truly help creative talented people without power or money. This puts women especially at the bottom of the heap unless you can be made — a token fill in the blank cause — that would help a white man raise his PR profile or make him more money. It's the game that feeds the engine that eats artist/creatives/producers as fuel. There will be no change in Hollywood until there are paradigm changing companies (no mental masturbation) that sincerely integrate change into how they do business above the line and make meaningful connections with people (Customers) that can transform their bottom line. I believe there is a 99% chance that that change will NOT come from Hollywood.

Chaysee Lane

ZZZZZZZZZ

MickyTheKnife

It's true that an average dude will get the gig before an exceptional chic – an ALL fields except bartending. But with all the energy put into "breaking into Hollywood", why aren't the overlooked (aka women, people of color) taking that same intensity and creating something new/outside the white male-driven Hollywood system? We called it Independent Film in the 90's. Now call it Outside the USA Film. It would be nice to see Annapurna champion a female director, though.

James May

1. There is no doubt in my mind women can do anything men can do when it comes to making films and TV shows.
2. Selling stuff on Etsy isn't making art.
3. Once you start race/gender pie-charting art, you can forget about it – it's dead. Because think of where that road logically leads.

If you want to see where it leads, look at the hard-core science-fiction and fantasy literary community. They are literally pie-charting content on blogs. The largest publisher of SFF in English has a reviewer who purposefully and admittedly reads more women's books and reviews accordingly. Awards are nominated to fix the gender-gap, though no one will admit it. Reviewers are reading 50% female and lamenting if they don't. Female authors are recommending books purely based on gender and race and even gender expression. White and male is out of style and part of a "dying culture." If you think white and male is oppressing you, are you going to recommend their books, nominate them for awards? Of course you will not.

Equality expresses itself. It does not wait for or need permission. I don't know what you call pie-charting art – I call it failure. People say diversity isn't a quota and the talent is there and all of that. Of course when you're literally pie-charting art with graphs that is the very definition of a quota, and talent discriminated on the basis of race and gender isn't really "there" is it?

Go ahead down that path. I'm not coming along. The real world doesn't work like a pie-chart, neither does success or the National Basketball Association or middle weight boxing or pro hockey or the entire world.

Darcy

Thank you so much for this article! It means a lot to me that someone is finally saying this. I'm so sick of certain types of men in Hollywood who like to think of themselves as liberal but develop an argumentative tone the minute someone wants to talk about this. And they have rarely if ever studied this issue at all, they just like to mention their own experiences which they don't ever understand are built on white-men-hiring-white-men-and-only-ever-caring-about-white-men's-experiences. I run into this at work all the time. They don't even bother to try to see the other side and they are almost universally contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian. Ugh. It's old and tired and I'm sick of it.

Justin

The article is well written and it makes valid points. My anecdotal evidence tells me this though. I've probably worked with 100 directors as a DP. 10-15 of them were women. None of which were completely prepared. They hadn't studied as long, they didn't know as much and they just weren't great at being directors. That is only my experience but I am yet to meet a "great" female director. I know lots of guys that are great but for one reason or another I see that the female directors I have come across are much more interested in calling themselves directors and being the ones in charge than learning their craft. That has been my experience. The guys run the gamut and plenty of them are poor directors and some are great. I'm yet to meet any great lady directors and it's always for the same reasons. At the end of the day, the studios want to make money. If more women were making movies that people wanted to pay money for then they would hire more of them. That's simple economics. The old guard means nothing if it doesn't generate a profit.

lawgirl

Thank you for a factually supported, timely, accurate piece of work. I apologize for all the mouth breathing, cowardly white men who looked up from their bags of Doritos and Mountain Dew jugs to take the time to berate you from the bowels of their mothers' basements. Anyone can be an anonymous expert from behind a computer screen, but none of them have supported their vitriol with logic and facts as you have used. It is all they have left–perhaps that foretells a changing tide in film and elsewhere.

Chris King

There is nothing inherently 'ballsy' about directing a film. It requires inspiration, organization, and empathy. Women often beat men at all those games. Perhaps the strongest argument for 50%+ directors is that a lot of women watch films (not just 13 year old boys). That suggests that it is critical to have more women -producers-. Folla the dolla. Women own a majority of the wealth in this country. What's the plan to round them up, put "the check on the table" as Joan Didion's wrote, and hire the women to make the flics women will pay in big numbers to see?

A Jethro

Kathryn Bigelow never whined like this author does. She just said "I want to make movies" and she does it extremely well. And Ms. Bigelow never played the gender card during her career.

Korka

Thank you Lexi for a healthy, well-educated and informative post.

Jack

My (male and female) team's reaction? We're going to send you a great script and hope you'll consider. We know you like to write your own…but fingers crossed…

Reed

I love when sexists post comments. You just prove the point of feminists over and over and over again that there isn't equality. Your negativity fuels the fire of activism, so keep on trollin'.

oh really

The idiotic and misogynist comments in this comments section only prove the director's points.
Stay home and wank off in mama's basement, boys.
No one wants you.

rottenOpportunisticwomen

This article makes me want to not hire women. Good job.

wemuststopunromanticbitches

We must stop unromantic bitches who want to order us around. As young men we have had to deal with female kindergarten teachers, then bitchy elementary school teaches. Is it to much to ask once our balls have dropped we're allowed to finally give the orders? F*cken hoe go make me pancakes I'm the DIRECTOR NOW! Look at me, look a me….I'm the Director. HOE!

Facedownassup

I hate to break it to this self proclaimed bitch who we are all giving way too much attention BUT….woman have it MUCH EASIER.

TY

I think this would be easier to swallow if the hundreds of male filmmakers I know had gotten opportunities to direct, but they don't. The Hollywood studio system is an extremely small, exclusive club. Much of it is based on nepotism & favoritism. Much of that is based on your family(ie wealth) & what school you went to(again wealth.)

I have worked for many female directors as an Assistant Director and when they walk on set, the feeling of here comes the "bitch" or the "ditz" by the crew is nonexistent & would not be tolerated.
L. Anderson's gripe with the Hollywood system is really a gripe with our global financial system. It's not racism or sexism at the root…
It's CAPITALISM….
Whoever has the $, has the power. Whoever has the power will stop at nothing to keep it. That means not only will L. Anderson be short changed but also the rest of the 99% of the population. That means black, WHITE, yellow, female & MALE.
ALL of us are in the same boat as L. Anderson, she just wants to have her own dingy.

Jess

Great article, but let's not forget that this sexism extends well beyond directing. Female writers cinematographers, composers, and editors are treated similarly. I have been to at least five meetings where I've been asked, in all seriousness, why I want to write action or sci-fi instead of romantic comedies. It's insane, this idea that there is some kind of female-genre.
There are only three solutions I can think of: 1) mandating diversity hiring despite the privileged whining, 2) somehow hold the "male allies" to they're freaking word, and 3) get the female execs and show runners to demand parity. I'm looking at you, Katherine Bigalow.

Female filmaker hassler

Being a director it's fun and boys like to have fun and hardly share their toys. It's like that with all the fun jobs… Think about it… Even in the cook business… All the "best" chefs are all men… Share the toys and the cream dudes.

Wrath of Colin

It seems the writer of this article has a hatred for white males because they're not, well, women. Everyone is discriminated against in the workplace, regardless of industry. I have been a victim of it when outnumbered by females. But the writer has already covered this argument by belittling any 'reverse discrimination' comments. But that doesn't stop it from being a real issue.

Personally, I will watch a movie regardless of who wrote or directed it, I find nudity and sex scenes tend to slow down the pace and I don't care whether the protagonist is a man or a woman so long as the story is entertaining.

I imagine women do encounter many serious difficulties in this industry, but then so does everyone. Maybe instead of belittling men, as if it is our fault you were born female, you could write an article in which you point out discrimination in general in an industry that is willing to toss anyone away once they make a movie that was less successful than their last.

We are all in this together after all, and not every white male was born with an 'affirmative-action bonus,' nor do we have a 'three-hundred-thousand-dollar education.'

I would say this article is quite hateful and sexist towards white males, but then that would be reverse discrimination, and we know how you feel about that.

Okay then!

Magic happened at Etsy- 500% percent more women… what did he do?

My 2 cents- I found that getting in as a lovely young woman was hard work but doable. It is the staying in your chosen career as a filmmaker…that is the real trick for women. Telling the guys at the studio that you have kids at home is like saying you are a MOM and not an artist who cares about yourself and ideas- it's like you became an idiot overnight. Being 55- you had better just stay at home. No respect from the guys anymore. In fact there are other girls on the horizon. The trick being played on women is that they pay their dues at studios through their 20's and are ready for the big time as directors but the 30's is also child rearing time and there is really the big roadblock because nobody wants to hire a mom to direct their movie.

I think the only way real change can happen if women actually cared about each other and don't look at themselves as lone islands up against a some kind of wildcard game watching fellow soldiers fall around you. If you ever get into a position where the choice to hire is yours hire an older women and see yourself in her in a few years. If there is a really pretty woman hire her don't be jealous that the oxygen will be taken from your jetpack. If there is a mom hire her! She has learned to multitask like no ones business. So these different people are all women who are talented and are in fact women… which is what is being talked about here- right?

Shaddup

Waaaaaaaaah! Women should get more of this! Men should get less! Shaddup. Hollywood is difficult for everyone, not just women. Women are in plenty of positions of power now and even they don't hire women. Women buy plenty of tickets to movies, yet there is no outcry to see more female directed movies from them. Why? Because men are obviously better at directing and Hollywood politics. It's science. Do your work and shaddup.

Tex Shelters

A little too self referential in the beginning. The topic women directors and their lack of opportunities, not whether the author is funny or not.

Moreover, while the point is made a few more statistics to back up the statements would make this more powerful. Okay, 2 of 100 top grossing films were directed by women. That his home. So, how many top TV directors are women, how many (zero as far as I know) episodes of ANY Law and Order show were directed by women, how many women graduate from film school. And a paragraph about how women are not only underrepresented as directors, but throughout the industry, would help.

Thanks!

PTxS

Jean Louise

I am a woman who has worked in film and TV for the past ten years. I've worked mostly as an actress and an independent feature film producer. Over the years, I have worked on hundreds of different sets, for commercials, print, film, network TV, cable TV, web series, and NEVER ONCE have I ever had the pleasure of working with a female director.
As an independent feature film producer I work with a mostly male crews. On my last project, I was astonished to have my 1 AD scold me like a child in front of a group of my employees during an early production meeting. The key grip quietly reminded this guy, I would be signing his checks. Nevertheless I had to let the 1AD go, after a string of other issues related to his job performance. It's not that this guy was incompetent, he just didn't feel like doing his best work for me.
These days I write, produce and direct shorts for YouTube, an amazingly democratic platform that provides everyone with the ability to share there stories with a worldwide audience. I still work on features, as a writer. I author all of my screenplays under an androgynous pen name.

Katt

For what ever you might think of this director personally, she is on the money in her statements. I cross TV/Film and theatre worlds and they are all the same when it comes to female directors. The powers that be like to complain that there are no women, but yet when new opportunities arise, low and behold no women are on the go to list. I know just as many "difficult" male directors, and yet they get labeled eccentric, and focused on the art….and hired over and over. No one is saying you need to work with difficult people, but it seems to be a cop out that women get tagged as difficult sooner than men. I was a camera op for 10 years prior to directing and once I proved I could lift and run cables like everyone else and my images were beautiful I got work. It seems much more difficult to break into steady work as a director even with my camera/DP pedigree.

Alicja Pahl

well hahaha what shall I say. I am a female cinematographer and after a while I realized that when I got a call for work, from someone I didn't know, the introduction had allways been: "Hey, … I would like to have you in this project because you are a woman, yeah and you do really good images…." I wonder if guys also get the same introduction: "Hey, well I called your number because you are a man and yes well you do great stuff…."
Doing Images or film or building bridges is asexual or do you really need to be a cowboy to shoot a western?

mapzilla

Why is none of this surprising? I have always gotten the impression most self-claimed male feminsits, manginas, etc. are really closet pigs. As long as they can garner the favor of females, there is no limit to the amount of stupid small talk, fake interest, and pandering politically astute men will convey.

My favorite quote regarding this type of man,"I don't like nice people, I like tough, honest people." Do women REALLY want tough, honest love? I don't think so. WINNER: liberal a**-kisser

S.S.

Everyone realizes that Lexi is one of the hardest directors to work with male or female right? She's arrogant and untrustworthy. $$ people will look past this if she creates good work but she has had chances and it's been subpar at best. No one is entitled to their next movie.
Her thoughts here have merit in a global sense but are laughable when compared to her own career.

Chris Lea

Just a correction: Kellan is the CTO at Etsy, not the CEO. But yes, he's done a great job of hiring more women.

Venita Ozols-Graham

I've been a DGA member for over 30 years. 30 years of trying to get a shot directing an episode. Came close a few times but no cigar. A few female friends of mine in the DGA actually grabbed the brass ring and got to direct an episode or two (even a few more in some cases) but that did not lead to the expected directing career. In one case, it actually got her not invited back for the next season because they didn't want a 1st AD with directing aspirations! They like us in our niche. Went to a steering committee meeting and found the same situation. I suggested we ask the DGA to back us in creating a 'Director Training Program' like the 'Assistant Director's Assistant Director's Training Program', which already exists. I suggested the DGA forge an alliance with the Producers to make a mentorship program for women that would end with an actual invitation to direct an episode (with a DGA sponsored mentor alongside, if desired). The women in the committee shot me down! They wanted to talk about what I considered pretty trivial issues so that was the end of me attending steering committee meetings. I still think such a program is a brilliant idea and hopefully someone will implement it someday. Good luck, future generations of directing women! Hopefully the barriers my generation jumped will come altogether down for you!

Jon

Yeah, I'm not shocked. The truth of the matter is, Hollywood is first and foremost a business, and like all businesses at their core, is innately about money. Nobody wants to take risks and chances with *anything* new because of the huge amount of risk that's inherent to entertainment. So the boys-only club stays in charge, more out of inertia than anything else.

But, hey, look at the bright side! The entire system (from the studios to the guilds) is probably doomed anyway.

What do I know

This is a pretty interesting article, but I still feel Alexander misses the point. I think the main problem is that the origins of mainstream media/cultural industry are from the 'white'/privileged males that have had access to large networked businesses and are therefore able to create/produce (regardless of even who it is produced for). This group of people have now produced a genre/heritage/type of media culture. This genre/heritage/type is natural for other 'white'/privileged males to understand, relate to, own, etc, thus giving them an automatic advantage when trying to create for the industry. (if you use feminism as an example) The 'male gaze' is so powerful in films that the very act of repeatedly showing women from a male point of view conditions females into viewing women the same way 'white'/privileged males do. So to fit the style/symbolism of what a female means in film, women will accidentally or on purpose portray them as they have been portrayed. But this is also true when we create other content. We no longer use our eyes but the new eyes that the mass media have given us, the eyes of the 'white'/privileged. We take on their ideals/culture/language etc, and spew it out again because that is what sells. The tiny variations of already established genres types; black people are gangsters or salt of the earth blue collar folk, women are good to look at and can't hold their tongue. Money is not everything as long as you have it, smokers are the bad guys, good guys are career minded, arts are not as important as business, strong white males save the day.

Carebear

Seems like quite a pleasant person. Just kidding! Entitled maybe

Jake

Lest we forget, Leni Riefenstahl was a BOSS and a total pioneer. And that was like the 1930's.

Truth

If you've ever worked with Lexi, you'd know why she is called "difficult." Her not getting work ISN'T because she's a woman. Take it from someone who's seen her first hand. Now, I don't doubt that Hollywood needs to do a better job at letting women into the "boys club," but I'm not sure we want her speaking for us…

Jeffrey Smith

Again and again, Hollywood proves it votes Democratic

but it does business like Republicans.

Fantasy: Hollywood women in all crafts walk off the job for a one day strike and shut the damned place down.

Leigh

A number of years ago I was privy to a number of Sr. Executives at a prominent Corp in Canada discussing how to get greater gender equality in the executive ranks.

After listening to them ramble for over a half an hour, they asked for my input (as I was being "unusually quiet" which was making them nervous).

I told them I had only one suggestion, and I was sure it was going to solve their issue.

"Why don't you try promoting them."

Crickets.

Akiva Penaloza

Yes! I'm going to add my voice to yours and we can all raise hell together. One thing I'm doing tomorrow: writing to M. Scorcese for making such a disgusting waste of film on a corrupt womanizing rapist. The dissenting voices are being heard but now that DiCaprio won a GG, more people will go see. I'm writing to his company, his manager and his agent. And I'm going to post the letter on my new blog. Inundate his mailbox. Just call me "difficult." As the song goes, "I don't care. I love it." Hurrah for you Lexi. Now let's get out there and kick some ass and throw some heels. What if we asked every actress/executive/writer/craft person on every film to take one day to 1) not show up to set, 2) to not show up to auditions, 3) to boycott work. And we bring these women together en masse to protest Occupy Wall Street style? This will grab attention, and from there we can organize a group to strategize on next steps. I'm going to start by inundating the mailboxes of Meryl Streep and the empresses of hollywood to come on board for this day. Anyone have feedback?

Jay

Film is an industry where no one and I mean no one is …”given” an opportunity to direct. Stop complaining and make your own opportunities. It may not be Hollywood, (where ever the hell that is considering the new paradigm in film-making at the minute) but it’s film-making.

Marc

Smart, bold, compelling piece, Lexi. Thank you for sharing, and for having the guts to stand up. I had to chime in because of 28 comments I see about three that appear to be from men (based on the name.) As a privileged white male in the industry, I think this is definitely a problem, and recognize how potentially scary it is to post this, and how brave it is. I'm not in a position of hiring yet, but when I am, I hope and expect to do more than just make noises about progress and actually hire women, etc. Beyond the value of different voices and perspectives and all that, I've got two daughters who might like to direct.

Maria

*slow clap*… This article does not only sum up the Hollywood business but North America in general. Exactly what Lexi said: white males are the ones that get the opportunities. Please, look at the CEO's of companies, the government, etc. Discrimination is everywhere and there is a fake promise that there everyone has equality and equity. There is more discrimination than gender, it trickles down to much more. The media does not even begin to recognize the diversity in North America, it's ridiculous.

John Davis

Angelke dear. Blacks are the athletes and whites the brains in the NFL. HOW MANY SUPERBOWL WINNING QBs were black?? 1. Stop talking idiot.

Rose Roth

Lexi Alexander cannot direct . Shes talentless. And hopeless.

Marcy Steinberg

Its true women dont want to be directors or engineers. Stfu and deal. Geez. Let me guess, you are single, alone, and not a 1% er?

Andre

How about approaching this as your next project (fiction or non)? Certainly seems like you have the fire for it!

Hena

Thank you for pointing that year after year, change is promised but action isn't taken. Meanwhile, in South Asia and the Middle East, the number of women directors continues to increase, and many receive significant recognition.

Joe Leydon

BTW: Lexi Alexander is pretty damn good director.

http://variety.com/2005/film/reviews/green-street-hooligans-1200527168/

Angelle

When the NFL finally faced up to the fact that there was a significant disparity between the players (most of whom were black) and head coaches (all/most of whom were white), they instituted something called the Rooney Rule.

See, the NFL works a lot like Hollywood – when there's an opening, people think of people they've worked with before, people they or someone they trust knows. Since most owners and GMs are rich white guys, guess who they knew/were comfortable with?

So Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, proposed something simple: require teams to interview, in good faith, one minority candidate. Not hire. Just interview. So teams had to go out and find minority candidates, and bring them in for a meeting. And guess what? Teams started hiring black head coaches in unprecedented numbers. They're nowhere near parity, but it's been a noticeable, rapid improvement, thanks to one simple change.

So I would like to humbly propose a Rooney Rule for film and television. If a project is open, and not developed with a director or writer from the outset, the producers or showrunner have to meet in good faith with at least one qualified minority and female candidate. I think the results would speak for themselves.

Donella

Those who have promised to bring about change… have died off or were killed by those who did not want to bring about change.

Maria Alexopoulos

Yes, yes and YES… *followed by an angry karate chop*. Finally someone says it like it is!

B

Speaking from a crew member P.O.V, anytime we have a female director the working crew never see her as a quota. She the boss, just like any other director period. We give her the same respect :-)

Jamie Babbit

Awesome article. Much to say on topic. Would love to get coffee and discuss…

MookieNY

I'd suggest you interview all the successful female directors (yes there are some) and ask them how they did it, then copy their formula. If you are hoping the white men who run Hollywood are going to design some sort of quota system, or magically decide to green light films made by women just for the social politics of it, you are dreaming. If you don't want to do that, put your money where your mouth is, go out on your own and make a super-successful ($$$) indie movie and wait for the studios to come knocking. Make no mistake, all they care about in Hollywood is money. Money=Success, Success=Power, Power=Freedom. Yes, it may be depressing but if you don't want to buy into that system you really don't want to be a Hollywood director. Or you just haven't faced the reality of the place.

Holly L. Derr

This is AMAZING! Way to go Lexi Alexander. Thank you for being real!

Therese Shechter

Thank you, Lexi. Listening to you calling 'bullshit' is inspiring. Sharing widely & vocally.

Nicole

Like 'Little Women', let's all go by the male version of our names and then on the first day of work…. Surprise!!! :)

Carmen Pelaez

As a new cuban woman director, writer and actor I feel your pain exponentially. Thank you for saying these things. If we're going to be marginalized-proud that I am marginilized with the likes of you. Dale!

Audrey Ewell

Thank you Lexi! I know it sucks to speak out, yes you are being labeled difficult, yes we know it's what happens when we speak up against the discrimination being leveled against us by the media industry, and yes: too many of us let it keep us quiet. So thank you. Thank you for calling them – all of them – out on it so truthfully.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need women in executive level positions. It's a learning curve for us too. I'll admit that the first film I directed and produced, I hired far too few women in every dept. Once I finished the film and started breathing again, I looked at what I'd done and regretted it. On my most recent film, a collaborative film, I made sure we had an equal number of female directors and co-directors and that women (and POC) voices were represented throughout all levels of the film. I put in that extra little bit of effort to make sure that our representation was inclusive and reflected reality. I don't think I'm unique in that. More women making hiring decisions will lead to more women filling important roles.

Again Lexi, total respect.

Elsa

Thank you for your honesty and passion for this subject. I love your wildcard analogy.

When there are no female directors being hired, it also affects the craft jobs as well in the "trickle down" effect. Look at the number of female composers, editors, cinematographers, production designers, and sound designers. It affects any type of job that is a traditionally "male" position. For example, of the 114 scores eligible for oscars in 2014, only 2 were scored by female composers. 0.02% is appalling. Maybe it happens because there are less female directors making those hiring decisions, and also some of the same factors causing less opportunities for female directors are also present. Whatever it may be, it's making it harder for women to be represented in the upper circles in the craft categories.

Rachel Feldman

Yes, yes, yes!!! Thanks for making some noise!

Heidi

Go Lexi!!!!! Thanks Melissa for covering!!! :))))

Rena

Thank you so very much Lexi for calling it as it is. Look what happened in SNL. The noise about discrimination and not having an African American women in the cast has gotten a little too hot. So they went on a search. The result? – One African American woman was chosen for the cast AND 2 additional female writers were hired as well. What does it tell you? When you search, you will find. There are plenty of us knocking on the doors for years, begging to be let in. What does our Guild tell us? "Sois belle et tais-toi" – be pretty, play by the rules, and shut up!

Clare Kilner

Well said. Thank you for putting it out there with such honesty!!

Maria Giese

One Note: The term that has long been used in the DGA-Studio Agreements is "Good Faith Efforts," not "Best Efforts." We DGA women requested that the term be strengthened. In this round of Negotiations, it was not changed, but only amplified with a new term "Work Diligently," which is still flacid, of ambiguous definition, and of little use to women in the courts.

gigi

the problem with female directors is that they want to make meaningful movies and Hollywood hates those. just look at the Oscar race.

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