The conversations about the lack of women directors in Hollywood have gotten louder and more numerous, but male filmmakers in general have yet to take part in them.
Michael Moore made himself the exception at this year’s NYFF, when he was asked what white men can do to make the film industry more diverse during a Q&A. As can be expected, Moore’s answer was 90% on the mark (“I’m missing out on her story”) and 10% hyperbolic provocation (“it’s a form of apartheid”).
Citing the statistic that women directed only 1.9% of the top-grossing 100 films last year, Moore joked, “It’s amazing, really, that women are so nice, or that any of us have throats left.”
“Women [and] especially men need to say this,” he continued, “and say it over and over and then do something about it. My guild, the Writers Guild [of America], Directors Guild [of America], we have to fix this. This is absolutely wrong. … This is the most liberal of all industries, when you use the word ‘industry’ in this country, and for it to be so shamelessly white and male?”
“I’m not saying that just because I’m a liberal making a politically correct statement; I’m saying it as a filmgoer and audience member,” he added. “I’m missing out on her story. Their stories. That person. When you block out whole groups of film by that cinema, what are the great films that you and I are missing because their great voices can’t be heard? I want to go to that movie. I want to hear that voice. I’m being denied that voice by a system that’s sent out to give the reins to white men.”
Moore chided, “I’m telling you, anthropologists are not gonna look kindly on us. We’re gonna look like Neanderthals, and they’re gonna say, ‘Even the liberal ones, the liberal ones let 1.9 percent of the majority gender make movies.’ … It’s a form of apartheid, folks, when a minority controls everything and the majority gets a bone thrown to them. That’s just absolutely wrong.”