Women and Hollywood


Melissa Silverstein is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film as well as other areas of pop culture. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry.

She is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Athena Film Festival. The 4th annual festival took place from February 6-9, 2014 at Barnard College in NYC.

Melissa recently published the first book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site.

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Women and Hollywood

Forbes Releases Hollywood's Highest Paid Actresses List

Forbes recently released their annual highest paid actress list. The list is unfortunately, unsurprisingly very white and very young. And several of the actresses such as Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman weren't even in films in the last year when the list was calculated (June 2012-June 2013).
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • August 1, 2013 3:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Today's Disconnect - Do Actresses Have Clout or Not?

Last week when I was in LA I read the following two articles on the same day.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 11, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Kristen Stewart's Two Upcoming Indie Roles

Post Twilight and post Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart has booked two indie roles.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • June 6, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

2012 The Year in Review

We took a look back on the news for women in and around Hollywood in 2012 and here are the topics we think resonated this past year. Let us know what you think and if we missed any big news of the year.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • December 28, 2012 10:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Looking Back at 2012: Some of Our Favorite Pieces of the Year

Looking back over the last year we are some of our favorite and buzz worthy pieces that ran on the site. We think they are a great overview of what went on for women in and around Hollywood in 2012.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • December 27, 2012 10:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Why Having Only Strong Girl Heroines is Not Enough

A.O. Scott in the lead story of the NY Times Magazine this past weekend wrote a very interesting piece on how Hollywood has finally embraced women, well not exactly women, heroines.  The piece "Hollywood's Year of Heroine Worship" delves into many very great points about the unique female characters seen onscreen this past year.  He focuses on the characters from Snow White and the Huntsman, Brave, The Hunger Games, Beasts of the Southern Wild and even adds in Twilight since Bella is much more heroic in the final film of the saga.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • December 11, 2012 2:00 PM
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  • 23 Comments

A Conversation with Melissa Rosenberg - Writer of the Twilight Series

I had the opportunity to speak with the hugely successful and very interesting screenwriter and TV writer Melissa Rosenberg last week while she was on the set of her new show Red Widow. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • November 20, 2012 2:00 PM
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  • 34 Comments

Guest Post: Bella Swan and Me

This weekend, the fifth and final installment of the Twilight franchise opened, and to no one’s surprise, killed at the box office. Conversations about the film will undoubtedly focus on the business it did (massive), whether or not it was any good (it wasn’t, really, but I had a great time), and what the fans were like opening night (enthusiastic, as always), but there’s a much smaller, more personal story to be told by each individual fan, and that’s what three fully grown women talked about on their way to see Breaking Dawn, Part 2 this weekend in a Midwestern suburb.
  • By Emilie Spiegel
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  • November 19, 2012 2:00 PM
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  • 6 Comments

A New Post Twilight Hollywood

We have finally reached the end of an important moment in film history.  I know that many people dismiss the Twilight saga for a multitude of reasons - it's about vampires, it is focused on a girl's story, it's a romance, it's just not good, etc., etc. - but to me, that is just a shortsighted look at what this franchise has done.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • November 16, 2012 6:36 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Cross Post: Hollywood's New Feminists, Why the Old One Went Away and What's Coming Next?

Women’s rights made a major impact on Hollywood in the 1970s. Feminism, now a dirty word, was such a force to be reckoned with that you didn’t dare depict a woman in a film who didn’t have, at the very least, her own identity. It was a hard fought war. But like most things go in Hollywood, economy drives the movement. Thus, once Julia Roberts became the $100 million dollar baby in the 1980s with Pretty Woman, the strong female characters began to slowly disappear. At the same time, the rise of the blockbuster drove the cost of movies higher. Roberts was one of the few women who could command the same salary as Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise. That’s what made her so powerful back then. But those high salaries demanded high box office returns and sadly, at least according to Hollywood, those would shrink because what sells at the box office are films starring men, made by men.
  • By Sasha Stone
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  • November 12, 2012 3:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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