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An Open Letter to Martin Scorsese

An Open Letter to Martin Scorsese

Dear Mr. Scorsese-

Your letter to your daughter Francesca came to my attention and I just had a few comments in response. 

First, I apologize for not seeing The Wolf of Wall Street. There was a time not too long ago where I would have been one of the first people at the theatre to see your films.  Goodfellas is one of my all time favorites. But I can’t bring myself to see The Wolf of Wall Street.  Women who I have spoken with have told me how difficult it was to sit through and how uncomfortable they were about the portrayals of women in the film. 

Hey, it might be a great film according to some folks. It might even win the Oscar, but I’m just not going to put myself through it. Life is too short.

Back to the letter 

I am really glad that you are excited about the future of film even while you acknowledge the closing of a chapter which you were one of the leaders of. I too am excited. This is the wild west and while it is scary for many filmmakers the possibilities are great. I’m really glad that you have exposed your daughter to many films since she was a young girl. I can’t even imagine how cool it must have been to see films with you and have you explain shots and story details. She is a lucky girl.

But Mr. Scorsese, have you shown your daughter any films directed by women? You tell her how important it is for her to embrace her voice, but at the same time all the directors you name as people who keep you heartened about the future of moviemaking are all MEN.

And since she is a girl have you told her that it will be harder for her as a director? (Do you even know how hard it is for women?) That there are less opportunities for women, and that in 2012 only 9% of the top grossing films were directed by women? And will you also tell her that you got a DGA nomination yesterday and that no women were nominated? And have you told her yet that only one woman has ever won an Oscar for best director? 

I hope your daughter has a vision like you do. I would be delighted to see a movie directed by Francesca Scorsese. But remember, role models and visionaries come in both sexes and we need female directors to inspire young boys and girls so that all children can grow up and trust their voices and visions.


Melissa Silverstein

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