The Hollywood Reporter's Director Roundtable Omits Women

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by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
November 30, 2012 10:02 AM
11 Comments
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L-R: Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Ang Lee
Yesterday was a good day with the Sundance numbers news.  But we were reminded not to get overexcited about those numbers since women directors only made up 17% of the worldwide competition and 30% of the Next section.  Even though we must celebrate the good news that women acheived parity in the US feature and documentary competitions, now is not the time to take the foot off the pedal.  It's time to push it down harder.

So when we see a second recent Hollywood Reporter Roundtable -- this time featuring directors -- without a single woman included we must say loudly and clearly that this is UNACCEPTABLE.  It was unacceptable last year when there was no woman.  According to our analysis there have been two women -- Lisa Cholodenko and Kathryn Bigelow -- included over the last four years. 

I really don't understand how they could not include Kathryn Bigelow this year.  I'm sure she was busy editing.  But Tom Hooper who was included was also busy editing.  (He reportedly didn't finish editing until the next night, Thanksgiving eve, and this photo was shot on November 20.)

It's not like they don't repeat themselves because David O. Russell and Tom Hooper were included two years ago.  And it's not like Biglow's film is not an Oscar contender which is whatweI felt last year when Lynne Ramsay was left out (but they did included Steve McQueen of Shame.)

Not including Bigelow is a kick in the gut to all the women directors out there who look at these issues of the Hollywood Reporter (which is edited by a woman Janice Min, but there were two men doing the interview this year) and see another cover full of men.  (Ang Lee is the only man of color.)

This magazine which in the next couple of weeks is going to release its most powerful women in Hollywood issue and hold an event celebrating women which they have invited Sandra Fluke to speak at, is the same magazine that continuously ignores women on important covers. 

The complete omission of women, in place of some of these directors who continually participate in discussions of this nature, sends a loud and uncomfortable message that women directors did not create anything deserving of participating in a director’s roundtable. This is obviously completely untrue, there are many women directors who certainly belonged on this roundtable. For instance what about Julia Loktev who directed The Loneliest Planet or Ava DuVernay who directed Middle of Nowhere, both of whom were just nominated for Independent Spirit Awards.

But again, we are stunned by the the omission of Kathryn Bigelow, whose Zero Dark Thirty is garnering amazing reviews and hands down is one of the most anticipated (and critically acclaimed if Twitter buzz is any indication) films of the year. And her best director Oscar win for The Hurt Locker, puts her squarely in the same company as Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino and Tom Hooper.

The Hollywood Reporter MUST do better than this.

Director Roundtable: 6 Auteurs on Tantrums, Crazy Actors and Quitting While They're Ahead (The Hollywood Reporter)

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11 Comments

  • Lauren | January 17, 2013 11:21 AMReply

    I'm appalled that Bigelow wasn't included. But what about Lynn Shelton? Your Sister's Sister is doing well at a lot of the indie film award shows.

  • loudrockmusic | December 21, 2012 3:42 AMReply

    I agree. There were a good many lady-helmed pictures thats were huge talking points this year. From "We Need to Talk About Kevin" to "Zero Dark Thirty", its not like they didn't ha ve a good pool to choose from. Maybe the ladies had better things to do than talk about themselves.

  • Ben | December 14, 2012 10:10 PMReply

    Get over it.

  • Breena | December 15, 2012 11:34 AM

    Dear Ben, Get a life and a brain.

  • Jodi | November 30, 2012 3:46 PMReply

    A huge mistake! I live for the day when men don't need to be "reminded" that they're not the only game in town.

  • MAM | November 30, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    Time to TRY HARDER, HOLLYWOOD.

  • Peeved | November 30, 2012 2:09 PMReply

    Ghastly omission. galactic fail!

  • Peeved | November 30, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    Ghastly omission. galactic fail!

  • Peeved | November 30, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    Ghastly omission. galactic fail!

  • Peeved | November 30, 2012 2:08 PMReply

    Ghastly omission. galactic fail!

  • Mark | November 30, 2012 1:44 PMReply

    Pretty sure Tarantino must have been crazy busy putting the finishing touches in Django as well... a busy schedule is no excuse for Bigelow's omission.

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