Director Rachel Feldman wrote An Open Letter to TV Showrunners this week. It was more than just a plea to television showrunners to hire more women – it was an article chock full of statistics on the lack of women in the industry and full of quotes of why hiring more women matters. She writes:
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media has published studies finding that, when woman create media, stereotyping is radically reduced and more female characters appear onscreen. Women directors often cast females in roles that had been written for men; tone down hyper-sexualized wardrobe, gratuitous nudity, and on-screen violence; and populate background talent with equal genders. These sensibilities don’t make us better or worse as directors, but show that there are varied perspectives.
Finally she concludes:
The television showrunning community has a great opportunity to be the leader for women. With over 3,300 episodes of television being made each year in Hollywood, YOU have the power to make real change for girls and women around the world. Film schools are filled with female students. Let’s not doom another generation of promising young women.
It does seem like we are on the verge of change (or is that a perpetual state?) but only if women like Rachel continue to make their voice heard for future generations. – Jennifer Dean