“Actually”

Kristin Wiig Bridesmaids

In trying to prepare another grant for my female filmmakers documentary this week I am once again steeped in reading about the lack of women directors in Hollywood. It’s kind of depressing – and often redundant. I did get a great quote though from a New York Times article announcing that Kristin Wiig will be making her directorial debut. The first half of the quote reiterates the dismal statistics. The second half is a comment made by TriStar chairman Thomas E. Rothman.

Of the 129 films scheduled for wide release in 2014, only four come from female filmmakers. “That makes no sense,” Mr. Rothman said.“Everybody talks about it needing to change, but Kristen actually wants to do something about it.”

At first glance I thought, isn’t it nice that Mr. Rothman is recognizing what Lexi Alexander in her blog post This is Me Getting Real described at length; the absurdity of the lack of women directors working and the incessant chatter of people talking about it… What Rothman fails to mention is Alexander’s indictment that the Hollywood Studio system doesn’t really want to do anything about it. Instead what Rothman seems to suggest is that Kristen Wiig is the only woman out there who wants to do something about it – and perhaps if more women just said they’d direct that it wouldn’t be an issue. Given my research on the issue that is a very simplistic approach. There are plenty of women out there who would like to work within the hallowed halls of Hollywood… and are as qualified to do so as men who are actually working in the industry. Kudos to Ms. Wiig for proving that women can be financially viable with her movie Bridesmaids, but it’s disingenuous to suggest that she “actually wants to do something about it,” and others do not.

— Jennifer Dean, Zeteo Contributor

One comment

  1. A question, or several. There are many fields — branches of medicine, for example — in which women now hold the majority of positions. There are other fields — film directing, other branches of medicine — where recent decades have seen few changes, men continue to hold the vast majority of the positions. What are the sources of these differences? Thus why, for example, are there so few women film directors? What are the dynamics that have produced this result?

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