A new report released ahead of Sunday’s Golden Globes paints a bleak picture for female and minority directors
It’s a Hollywood walk of shame.
Female and minority directors remained woefully underrepresented in the 1,100 top-grossing films of 2007 to 2017, according to a report released Thursday by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Over that 11-year span, just 4.3% of those films’ 1,223 directors were female, the analysis showed — or roughly 22 men for every woman.
It gets worse: Just four black women (including “A Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay), three Asian women and one Latina landed directing gigs on those 1,100 top films. Only about 5% of directors were black or African-American, while 3% were Asian or Asian-American. Of 2017’s top 100 movies, 5.5% of directors were black — down from 5.8% in 2016, and the 11-year high of 7.1% in 2007.
Women directors also face a steep “fiscal cliff” in translating opportunities in indie and episodic TV to top-grossing motion pictures, the report found, with a roughly 23% decline in the percentage of female directors from the former to the latter. And in what the authors dub the “one-and-done” phenomenon, females are far more likely than males (84% vs. 55%) to have directed only one film between 2007 and 2017.
The report’s dismal findings, its authors write, show that the world’s biggest media companies “continue to underperform” in signing on diverse directors — and that “now is the time for action.”
“After a year in which women (and men) have shaken the entertainment industry to its core with allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and gender bias, many are asking what comes next,” they wrote. “From this report, it is clear that what is needed is sweeping change — starting from leaders who prioritize inclusion and make decisions to facilitate it, to shareholders who demand more from the companies they support, and ending with consumers, who can loudly voice their objections and their approval for films that align with their values.”
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