I’ve been a bit hard on Jodie of late for her support of Mel Gibson and for taking a gig with Roman Polanski, but it seems she is taking one for the team when talking about why there are so few female directors.
There are really very few women who can talk about this issue (another would be Kathryn Bigelow but I am not holding my breathe for her to speak out in support of women) and Jodie, who has had a moderately successful career as a director is still a Hollywood icon and one of the people who when she speaks, people listen.
The LA Times has a piece where Jodie talks about how executives want to hire people like themselves because that would make them the most comfortable when turning over a large budget:
I don’t think it’s a plot and these guys sat around and said let’s keep these women out…When you give that amount of power up, you want them to look like you and talk like you and think like you and it’s scary when they don’t, because what’s gonna happen? I’m gonna hand over $60 million to somebody I don’t know. I hope they look like me.
Foster also holds women executives to the fire when she says that names women executives put forward are: “guy, guy, guy, guy.” She also said that: “Their job is to be as risk-averse as possible. They see female directors as a risk.”
So male executives want to see someone like themselves when hiring a director and women executives see women directors as a risk. Until we see more women executives take a chance and hire women directors who can then make successful films we will not make progress.
Glad she’s on the right side on this one.