Hollywood to Women: Drop Dead

by rania
July 29, 2008 1:45 AM
4 Comments
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Manohla Dargis ushered in the summer by asking "Is There a Real Woman in This Multiplex?" about the lack of female characters in Hollywood movies. Soon after, Patrick Goldstein reported "Film directing is still a man's world" on the dirth of female directors, with some good insights as to why. Now comes "Thumbs Down - Representation of Women Film Critics in the Top 100 U.S. Daily Newspapers," a study by Dr. Martha Lauzen published last week on the website of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, that quantifies what you probably suspected regarding female representation in film criticism.

Summing it all up in her last paragraph, Lauzen suggests that the whole supply chain is culpable for the gender imbalance in Hollywood:

"In short, men dominate the reviewing process of films primarily made by men featuring mostly males intended for a largely male audience. The under-employment of women film reviewers, actors, and filmmakers perpetuates the nearly seamless dialogue among men in U.S. cinema."

Thoughts?

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More: Women, Film Biz

4 Comments

  • rinaldo | August 16, 2008 7:13 AMReply

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  • Jennifer Merin | July 30, 2008 12:29 PMReply

    Thanks for linking to Martha Lauzen's important report on the Alliance of Women Film Journalists' (AWFJ) website at www.awfj.org.



    We've long known that men prevail in the media, just as they rule Hollywood. But Dr. Lauzen's stats still come as a shock. It's extremely important that we publicize them to raise awareness about just how great a disparity exists between opportunities for female and for male critics.

    Film critics interpret, contextualize and make recommendations about what is arguably the world's most popular and influential form of entertainment, and one of our nation's largest industries. Yet, as Martha's report shows, women—who number more than 50% of the population—are still being marginalized, excluded from a national discussion of sweeping cultural and financial significance.



    AWFJ actively supports women who work in front of and behind the cameras to make films that reflect females' perspectives. We turn up the volume on the voices of women critics and journalists so they can be more widely and clearly heard.

    We hope that the discussion engendered by Martha's report will continue and spead.

    Thank you for your support.



    Jennifer Merin

    President

    Alliance of Women Film Journalists

  • Sujewa | July 29, 2008 5:20 AMReply

    Easier said than done of course, but the simple (or simple to imagine) solution would be to women to fund, produce, create, distribute movies by and featuring women in lead roles. This past Saturday morning I was discussing this same topic with Melissa Silverstein, the writer of Women & Hollywood blog, when I interviewed her for my doc about indie film bloggers.
    And afterwards I read her post about the report mentioned above, pretty shocking - the low numbers of women engagd in criticism, & all other aspects of film production & distribution in Hollywood. However, I hear the situation is a little better in the indie doc world, and also in television.

    - Sujewa

  • Melissa Silverstein | July 29, 2008 1:26 AMReply

    Thanks for the post. Indiewire seldom covers the struggles that female filmmakers deal with. It sucks out there for everyone, but especially women, and especially women directors. While there are few female critics and I might add female film bloggers, it's even worse for female directors.

    I have been following, writing and putting out the voices of female Hollywood and indiewood on my site Women & Hollywood.