Back in May, we reported that the ACLU had sent a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requesting that the agency look into the systemic discrimination against women directors in Hollywood. As you know, the stats are brutal: Women directed only 4.7% of studio films from 2009-2013 and 10% of independent films in the same time period. This latest wave of legal activism began in 2013, when Maria Giese went to the ACLU and pushed them to start looking at employment discrimination against women directors in Hollywood. But women have been fighting for gender equality in the courts since the early ’80s, when the newly formed Women’s Steering Committee at the DGA discovered that women held .05% of directing positions across all media.
There has been no news since then as to whether or not the feds would take on the case. But I can report today that the EEOC has begun sending out letters to women directors (I’ve seen a copy) asking them to come in and meet in October so that they can learn more about the discrimination that women directors face in the film and TV industries.
The interviews with the EEOC will be confidential.
This is a HUGE step forward in the fight for gender justice in Hollywood. Kudos to everyone who has been pushing this issue and for the ACLU for taking it to the next level.