George Clooney is weighing in on what have become two very hot topics in Hollywood: the pay disparity between male and female actors and the lack of opportunities for female directors.
“One good thing that’s come out of [the Sony hack] is the conversation in very liberal Hollywood that women aren’t being paid the same and … there’s something like 15 female directors in a town of directors,” Clooney said. “I think it’s a very good conversation that they’re starting to have.”
Clooney is almost certainly referring to the fact that the hack revealed that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams earned less than their male co-stars in “American Hustle.” As for his comment about 15 female directors, that’s likely a response to the ACLU-cited statistic that women directed 17 of the top 250 grossing movies of 2014, a number that would of course be much higher if female directors landed more jobs, and higher-profile jobs.
Clooney mentioned that his own production company, Smokehouse, employs a number of female executives. Since its founding in 2006, Smokehouse has produced ten films, but only two have female helmers: Libby Spears’ “Playground,” a doc about the child sex trade in the US, and Jodie Foster’s upcoming “Money Monster,” which will focus on a TV personality (Clooney) who is taken hostage by a viewer (Jack O’Connell, “Unbroken”).
Roadhouse also produced the female-ensemble family drama “August: Osage County” and “Our Brand Is Crisis,” set for release in 2016, which will star Sandra Bullock as a political consultant hired by a Bolivian politician vying for the presidency of that country.
So Clooney is certainly talking the talk, saying what he’s expected to in, as he calls it, “very liberal Hollywood,” but we think he can do a better job of walking the walk by hiring more women directors and producing more female-centric projects.
That being said, the significance of Clooney speaking in favor of pay equality and equal opportunities for female filmmakers shouldn’t be understated. The more people joining the conversation, especially male allies in this fight, the better — particularly if they are likely to produce headlines the way Clooney is.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]