You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Infographic: Women Directors in the Studio System

Infographic: Women Directors in the Studio System

Women and Hollywood is on vacation this week. While our lights are out, we’ll be reposting our most popular posts of the summer.

The director’s chair is one of the most influential thrones in Hollywood — and where women are least welcome, particularly at the studios. We’ve made some progress since the days when DGA meetings began with the words "Fellow Directors and Mrs. Lupino" (thank heaven for Ida), but it’s clear that institutional gender discrimination still governs daily business at the Big Six. Here’s an infographic that shows how much further we still have to go, with numbers for each studio. 

This Article is related to: Features and tagged


Comments

Chi

I, experienced the injustices just recently….I, had finished my script which took me about 6 years to write. I contacted a very successful person on the industry who had made a name for himself and I submitted my outline and summary of the work. I, didn't even submit my movie script to him at all. I trust his word and he knows the business. So, needless to say I was shocked when he came back with such positive feedback. So, to make a long story short I submitted my work to one of those websites that promise you executive contacts and even one of the major studios was looking for new writers. They review your work and then give you feedback by one of the "insiders" of the industry. The feedback I got was a racial slurr about the characters being "TOO GHETTO". That slurr was the reason that the movie script wouldn't sell!

I, was shocked! I sent a letter to the company and broke down each review point and countered with a series of examples on block buster hits that had the same attributes as my project. I, even included %'s and resource listings, everything I could present to show that not only did I know my home work but I wasn't giving up on my dream. I, also detailed each character and profession pointing out the heritage and legacy of my characters. My last words were we as the African American population are a 1.1 trillion dollar industry so let the public speak! Ladies we can't let go of our dreams we are just too close for them to become what we need for it to be! Stay the course and don't allow anyone to steal what you've been made for!

Chit-Town Blue

I, represent an otherwise ignored generation of women who've been rejected by society…We've, been treated as second class citizens when it comes to healthcare, education, and home ownership. What, all of America fails to understand is that we were created and chosen to willfully give up our dreams and goals in life (Producing and Directing etc) So that our love ones who are of the disabled population can become productive people within society. Yet, I truly understand that there can be balance where those needs are met and those dreams can be reached if there was equality among the sexes within this boys club field. Once script sold can mean the difference between one writers chance to feed their children or by med's for their children due to them running out of money by the end of the month. We, are a unique breed and are breaking the glass ceiling….THE SHE INFLUENCE on F/B join the movement!

Sabrina WGSS

I've been taking a class about women in movies and this chart perfectly sums up a section that was covered in this class. Women and specifically women of different nationalities aren't seen as capable as men when in comes to directing a movie. I think this has to do with the white patriarchal society that we live in. Also Hollywood has done a good job of projecting women in a way that undermines there potential. I remember watching a documentary about women directors in other countries and they were being subjected to sexual harassment by their coworkers and discrimination. This documentary dates back a few decades, but still, these facts are shocking. One of the main reasons that women don't land director jobs is because people think that their movie will have a more feminine view and won't appeal to men. However, an interesting fact is that women are the ones who are supporting box offices numbers, because they are the ones going out a watching the movies. I think that we have reached a time in our society where women are viewed more as equal then they ever were in the past. I am hoping that with this new light, this will help women achieve more directing jobs.

IGBO

It is important to point out the lack of opportunities for female directors in Hollywood, but I believe the larger issue should be "why"? I think the lack of female-directed films released by the majors is at least partially due to studio reluctance to back more modestly budgeted films. These films tend to be romances and comedies, which female directors are most often associated. That means for things to really change, one of two things has to happen: 1) studios have to be more willing to back more smaller budgeted films or (2) women need more opportunities to direct big-budget "tent pole" movies.

Anon

Ha! Stronk womyn xDDDD

Martyn Drake

How do those figures compare against television?

It looks like there are more women directors working in television than movies. For example, Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, GoT, X-Files, Walking Dead), Holly Dale (Falling Skies, The Walking Dead, Castle, Under the Dome and many, many, MANY popular TV shows), Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland, The Walking Dead, Ray Donovon and many other), as well as Gwyneth Horder Payton (again, long list of very popular US shows). To name but a mere handful.

So my question is: why are women directors seem to fare better in television than in the movies?

XYZ

It would be nice if this were filed under the general section of the site, rather than being relegated to the Women's section. Serious inequality is something everyone needs to be made aware of. It is not just a women's issue.

Farrell

Very black and white thinking here. This chart fails to take into account practical factors, like how many women directors are actually are out there vs. male. When I went to film school, in a class of 40, there were about 3 or 4 women and it had nothing to do with discrimination…whoever could pay the tuition, got in, male or female. Females just don't seem to as interested in filmmaking as males. A couple of the women in my class didn't even seem interested in filmmaking, but just wanted to try something different. So you had maybe 2 women out of 40 students serious about it. And the odds on top of that are even brutal, as most of the males in the class never went on to have a career…it is brutal for everyone, and fewer females trying to break in means their odds are not very good, and it has nothing to do with gender. In my 10 plus years in Hollywood, I ran into VERY few female filmmakers compared to males. There are far more women interested in acting than filmmaking. And what would satisfy people? A 50% split? 70/30? Should studios start hiring female directors even if they don't fit the material just because they're a woman? There are already plenty of awesomely talented females directing films. And not to mention it is very difficult to make it in the film business, regardless of your gender. Talent trumps everything. If you make a great film, you will get hired, as money speaks louder than gender. If a woman made something like Requiem for a Dream or Boogie Nights or Blood Simple, no studio would turn them away. There are many factors that go into why a studio hires one person over another…and they are too complex to boil them down to racism and sexism. I do agree those things exist in Hollywood, but making simplistic charts like this that do not take into account the many complex factors involved in success is a mistake in my opinion.

Alex

Nice infographic. You should do one with minorities

Frank

This infographic shows how studios are towards female directors. Studios are evil entities that profit from the neoliberalism, female directors are smart enough to stay in the indi film industry. Also people are simply not aware that there are plenty women in every film schools, normally they outnumber male students. Now what I wonder is, why are there so many female producers? And so many female excecutives?

Frank

This infographic shows how studios are towards female directors. Studios are evil entities that profit from the neoliberalism, female directors are smart enough to stay in the indi film industry. Also people are simply not aware that there are plenty women in every film schools, normally they outnumber male students. Now what I wonder is, why are there so many female producers? And so many female excecutives?

Frank

This infographic shows how studios are towards female directors. Studios are evil entities that profit from the neoliberalism, female directors are smart enough to stay in the indi film industry. Also people are simply not aware that there are plenty women in every film schools, normally they outnumber male students. Now what I wonder is, why are there so many female producers? And so many female excecutives?

Analee

This may be controversial, but would it be too much to ask to stop including Lana Wachowski on these lists?? Having a successful directing career with a penis, and then being lumped in with a group of women directors once you've had it cut off, defeats the purpose. We can't all start our female directing careers off as men.

Danny Derakhshan

I never liked this kind of favoritism that takes away from any specific group, especially women. Women are amazingly creative, hard working, and are great bosses, if given the opportunity. We, as men and women, need to make changes first in ourselves: Offer women the same jobs. Pay women the same as men. Make sure that equality is not just out in the media, but also offscreen. I'm producing a documentary about women directors in film because of how the studios do things like this. Now, women have shifted to directing documentaries. Our goal with this film is to lead by example: We have a first time feature film director who is a woman directing, and we strive for the crew and people onscreen to be equal ratios of men and women. If you'd like to help us or become part of the team, please contact me. Thank you.

Max

Are there any stats about how many female directors or aspiring female directors there actually are in the world? It's hard to put something like that in a nifty chart, but currently these infographs only point the finger at studios for having some kind of "No girls allowed" sign on the door, when the issue involves many more factors.

claire cassidy

where is sarah polley?
Charts like this are depressing AND encouraging. Getting the names of the Few that have directed out there, offers a platform for others to be reminded of the diversity of their work.
I am a firm believer that you can't be what you can't see.

I also whole heartedly disagree that there is this gap because there are so few women who aspire to be directors. In classes and colleges where there is an even split, alot of the female classmates are encouraged to take paper work/producer roles. There is a view that only the truly auteur aggressive style of directing is key- I don't know alot of directors who happen to be female like that. So they are discriminated against, as being unsure- if they aren't pushy.
a critical style over a collaborative style is idealized in alot of institutions.

And studios still don't trust women to do mega budget shoot em ups- so they are put in the niche of indie. But any man can do a "chick flick" or stories with women as protagonists. So strange.

eric

This probably has more to do with the fact that there aren't very many female directors. I went to a large film school and there were barely any females in the directing program. This isn't necessarily an example of discrimination.

Ninjatrrtle

Kathryn Bigelow directed the Hurt Locker in 2008 and Zero Dark Thirty in 2012. Anne Fletcher's not the only one.

anonymous

Have charts and articles like these worked in changing things or are they just confirming to the studios that "others are doing it" so they should continue doing it too? If the media changes the way they report on women directors, perhaps the studios will follow. Stop framing the subject as a negative. Stop interviewing women directors with the focus on the negative aspects of making it in the industry as a woman, and instead focus on the same filmmaking questions that are asked of males. Media could also refuse to print any PR announcements for white male directors who are hired for doing studio films. Period. Just stop printing that "new wonder boy" has been hired by studio X to direct a feature and start only printing PR pieces about female or minority directors (until the numbers change significantly). Let the studios find a new way to push their chauvenism or force them to change. They will. Or maybe women should just get together en masse and do a class action lawsuit. Reverse marketing and money would talk. It's the only thing they understand.

anonymous

Have charts and articles like these worked in changing things or are they just confirming to the studios that "others are doing it" so they should continue doing it too? If the media changes the way they report on women directors, perhaps the studios will follow. Stop framing the subject as a negative. Stop interviewing women directors with the focus on the negative aspects of making it in the industry as a woman, and instead focus on the same filmmaking questions that are asked of males. Media could also refuse to print any PR announcements for white male directors who are hired for doing studio films. Period. Just stop printing that "new wonder boy" has been hired by studio X to direct a feature and start only printing PR pieces about female or minority directors (until the numbers change significantly). Let the studios find a new way to push their chauvenism or force them to change. They will. Or maybe women should just get together en masse and do a class action lawsuit. Money would talk.

IndieReader

I am in support of women filmmakers but this infographic is horribly designed and requires too much effort to navigate. #baddesign

thedirectorlist

Pretty disgraceful, especially when one considers how many talented women directors have made indie films over the past decade. There's a huge pool of talent, yet the studios still claim they struggle to find women to consider! Here's one place to find them: thedirectorlist (dot) com.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *