A win for women in Hollywood as the industry comes under investigation over gender discrimination.
America’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has started investigating gender discrimination in Hollywood a year after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) first asked them to.
The ACLU of Southern California and ACLU Women’s Rights Project urged the governments to investigate discrimination again female directors in the film and television industries. The request came after the Union did an investigation of their own revealing gender bias against women going for directorial roles.
“In the year since our report was released, there has been much lip-service paid to furthering opportunities for women, but few definitive steps and no serious movement in the number of women directors hired,” Melissa Goodman, director of the LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU of Southern California said in a statement.
“ACLU SoCal and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project are pleased that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs gave careful consideration to our findings and responded by launching a wide-ranging and well-resourced investigation into the industry’s hiring practices.”
Ms Goodman stated that the Union is confident that the government will push industry leaders to address the ongoing issue that is violating legal and civil rights for females in the film and television industries.
A new report from the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University shows that only nine per cent of directors in the top 250 domestic grossing films are women and only 12 per cent are among the top 500 domestic grossing films. The results don't show much change throughout history.
"It would be unrealistic to expect that attitudes about women as directors to change overnight, but nothing in this data suggests that change is on the horizon,” Dr. Martha Lauzen, the executive director of San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television told Variety.
Paramount announced their first female-directed film since 2014 on May 11 this year according to Deadline. The woman who won an Oscar for Disney Pixar’s Brave, Brenda Chapman, is going to direct her first live-action film. It will be a fantasy drama called Come Away.
There is no specific information about how the gender discrimination investigation is being conducted by the EEOC. A spokesperson did tell TIME that the EEOC, “encourage the industry to publicly address the serious issue raised by the ACLU and to take proactive steps to address these issues.”
In 2015 there were very successful female directors like Sam Taylor-Johnson who directed Fifty Shades of Grey and Elizabeth Banks who directed Pitch Perfect 2. They’re just two women proving that female directors can create successful films and that women are an asset to Hollywood.
Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for gender discrimination in Hollywood.