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Sexism Watch: The Hollywood Reporter Writers Roundtable

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by Melissa Silverstein
November 22, 2011 10:35 AM
9 Comments
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It kind of feels like I am experiencing deja vu.  I just don't understand how the folks at The Hollywood Reporter can continue to publish these types of pieces without anyone saying hey, wait a minute, how about including some women?  Where are the editors of the magazine?  Isn't the Editorial Director a woman?

So let's just agree that they are completely tone deaf, sexist and kind of stupid because including women in this roundtable is such a no brainer (it would be even easier than the directors roundtable.)

I don't understand how they can have a roundtable of "6 A-list Hollywood screenwriters" talking about the awards season this year and not include the hottest screenwriters of the year Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo who wrote the game changing Bridesmaids.  Is it because it is a comedy? 

And again, I take issue with their decision on bestowing A list screenwriter status on the six men in the room.  I don't recall Pedro Almodovar ever being called an "A List" writer.  People usually talk about his directing, not necessarily his writing.  And while I know this is Oscar season but if they really wanted to include an "A List" female writer - how about Melissa Rosenberg who can do what she wants now thanks to the success of the Twilight films.

They included Steve McQueen director of Shame from England in the directors roundtable but did not include the film's co-writer Abi Morgan who also has written the upcoming film The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.  Sounds pretty "A List" to me.

Giving them a bit of the benefit of the doubt since Abi lives in England and Kristin works in NYC...I seriously can't find any  excuse not to include Oscar award winning writer Diablo Cody whose film Young Adult opens next month.  Sounds pretty "A list" to me.  And they included the director of Young Adult Jason Reitman in the directing panel.  So he rates a place at the table and she doesn't?  Something smells really bad here.

I came up with all those names off the top of my head.  I'm sure there are so many more.  What other female "A List" writers can we come up with?

*** FYI- We are still having some picture difficulties.  There are supposed to be 6 men in the picture.***

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9 Comments

  • Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking | November 27, 2011 4:37 PMReply

    Ref especially to Marian post: Aloha, I would love to host THAT conversation here in Honolulu. I am seriously committed to make it happen. We are a small, but growing local organization here, promoting greater visibility and public awareness of women works in film, video, television, and related media arts. Will be anyone interested in collaborating in putting together this panel/seminar/conference? :) If interested, please contact me! my email: womenfilmmaking@gmail.com and FB http://www.facebook.com/hiwif.

  • Kia | November 23, 2011 1:21 PMReply

    I'm starting to believe this article prompted THR to ask its director roundtable "Where are the women directors?" Thanks for pointing this out because I'm always put off by the lack of women and diversity showcased on those roundtable series.

  • Z Budapest | November 22, 2011 6:29 PMReply

    Women must Occupy Hollywood. I really think there must be a physical action, a huge boycott, a well documented political action coast to coast. A weekend long festival of women's films, may be free, so the big turn out would be possible.Create the desire to see our own films. Stage it inside Hollywood on a big parking lot. Arguing with facts will not matter. Women must put on the helmet of Athena and show some ire. Real ire. May be use male masks to avoid blacklisting. We need our humorists /satirists to lace it with laughter. A producer who is brave .
    And it must be germinated from the artistic community of women everywhere. Occupy our own culture. Create a parallel universe, our own conferences, with women only. All seeing Goddess Melissa, you could call it and we would all come.

  • anne flournoy | November 27, 2011 5:51 PM

    Maybe it's time to get in touch with The Guerilla Girls ... http://www.guerrillagirls.com/

  • Caitlin McCarthy | November 22, 2011 3:50 PMReply

    A question: Would it kill one of the men to ask the Hollywood Reporter, Where are the women?? Don't they notice the sausage fest? Or is that the way they like it -- no women allowed? Silence = Consent.

  • Anne Flournoy | November 22, 2011 3:42 PMReply

    Thank you Melissa and Marian. Sorry to report in from the world of web series that it doesn't look much better over here. NYTV Festival recently had a whole day of panels with not one woman on any of them. (Don't get me started on the difficulty of a woman's web series getting into this festival if it doesn't show women in a T&A type situation...with rare exceptions.)

  • Caitlin McCarthy | November 22, 2011 3:42 PMReply

    Nancy Meyers. Carrie Fisher. Tina Fey. Nora Ephron. Elaine May. Shonda Rimes. Rebecca Miller. Nicole Holofcener. Tamara Jenkins. Amy Heckerling. Susannah Grant. Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal. Kristen Wiig. Allison Anders. Anne Beatts. Sofia Coppola. Julie Delpy. Gigi Levangie Grazer. (And you mentioned others like Diablo Cody.)

    All of these women screenwriters, off the top of my head. And yet the Hollywood Reporter couldn't highlight ONE of them????

    Yeah, it was just an oversight on their part. NOT. The ole boys' club is alive and well. (Insert vomiting sound.)

  • Marian Evans | November 22, 2011 2:10 PMReply

    Wuthering Heights: Andrea Arnold and Olivia Hetreed
    W./E. Madonna and Alek Keshishian.

    I became slightly obsessed with the Venice Film Festival interviews that went up on YouTube. There's a fascinating one that includes Madonna talking about writing. Neither of these is the one, can't now find it, but I think that they also show that Madonna is a serious writer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtQ7vUZuyhE & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhvxOwSrs1Y

    And I was shocked at how the clip of the Wuthering Heights press conference filmed Andrea Arnold, though there was later a clip of her talking about her process (http://wellywoodwoman.blogspot.com/2011/09/andrea-arnold-and-wuthering-heights-at.html)

    Anyway, I think Hollywood Reporter could afford to fly in Madonna, Abi Morgan and Andrea Arnold! With Diablo Cody and Melissa Rosenberg? WOW, wouldn't THAT be a conversation! It's shameful that Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo weren't invited, too. But I noticed in this clip about Bridesmaids that even though there were women at the session, including Annie Mumolo, the men's voices predominated: latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/11/bridesmaids-filmmakers-dispel-myth-that-women-cant-star-in-r-rated-comedies.html

    I think we delude ourselves if we think that much has changed. If I doubted it, my recent involvement with the Indiegogo campaign for Pratibha Parmar's important film about Alice Walker, which should be a no-brainer for investors and funders, confirmed this. As did the shortlist for the Best Feature Documentary, where women are not represented as strongly as they're represented in the doco industry, and where men directed two of the three films about women. So I'm very pleased that you're here on your sexism watch, and that Kyna Morgan over at HerFilm is busy building audiences for all kinds of independent women writers and directors. Because we're on a long, hard, road as this roundtable—like the directors roundtable—shows.

    (PS Can see six men!)

  • Hawaii Women in Filmmaking (Vera) | November 27, 2011 4:34 PM

    Ref especially to Marian post: Aloha, I would love to host THAT conversation here in Honolulu. I am seriously committed to make it happen. We are a small, but growing local organization here, promoting greater visibility and public awareness of women works in film, video, television, and related media arts. Will be anyone interested in collaborating in putting together this panel/seminar/conference? :) my email: womenfilmmaking@gmail.com and FB http://www.facebook.com/hiwif

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