The American Civil Liberties Union has launched a petition with the hopes of gaining more support and momentum in the struggle to put an end to the industry’s gender-biased hiring practices.
Last week, the ACLU announced that it has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate whether Hollywood is engaging in discriminatory hiring practices that adversely affect women directors, specifically “the widespread exclusion of women directors from employment in directing episodic television and feature films.” The letter to government agencies, which was released publicly, included insights from 50 women directors who were consulted about their own experiences working in the business.
Since then, a number of female filmmakers, including Kathryn Bigelow and Gina Prince-Bythewood, spoke in favor of the cause, the ACLU’s campaign against sexism in Hollywood has been making headlines and, arguably most importantly, it’s gotten more people talking about gender disparity in Hollywood and how we can finally work towards meaningful ways of solving this problem.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ACLU began reaching out to people in the industry via email on Thursday, calling on them join the cause and sign the petition. The ACLU hopes that “key industry organizations will join them in circulating information about the petition.”
“By signing it, industry professionals will tell three government civil rights agencies (1) that gender bias against women directors in film and television is real and has gone on for far too long and (2) investigation and oversight from civil rights enforcement agencies to foster reform of the industry’s biased hiring practices would be a welcome step,” according to the email, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “Our goal is to show the civil rights enforcement agencies that a significant number of people who are women directors or work with women directors want this long-running civil rights problem to be fixed.”
We are on the precipice of change. Hollywood is in dire need of a radical makeover, and the ACLU will hopefully be instrumental in bringing this transformation about. As the ACLU’s original letter states, “Overt sexism remains a real, concrete barrier” for women directors. It’s time that we break that barrier down.
You can sign the petition here. Join us and stand for #FilmEquality.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]