Hollywood, the Oscars and gender equality

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Women still face a "tough struggle" to gain acceptance in the film industry, according to a Hollywood industry survey which
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revealed that only 6% of successful films in 2007 had female directors.

The business is still a male-dominated club that views women as incapable of directing anything other than "chick-flicks" or getting to grips with technical skills, according to the advocacy group, Women in Film and Television. The Director of Women in Film and Television, Jane Cussons argued: "The studios pigeonhole women directors and think 'she can only direct a chick-flick about lots of women trying to make a quilt.'"

The Celluloid Ceiling

Dr. Martha Lauzen Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, publishes an annual report on women in the entertainment industry, entitled 'the Celluloid Ceiling'. In 2007, the report found that:

  • Women comprised 15% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents a decline of 2 percentage points from 1998 and represents no change from 2006;
  • Women accounted for 6% of directors in 2007, a decline of one percentage point since 2006. This figure is almost half the percentage of women directors working in 2000 when women accounted for 11% of all directors;
  • 21% of the films released in 2007 employed no women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, or editors. No films failed to employ a man in at least one of these roles;
  • A historical comparison of women’s employment on the top 250 films in 2007 and 1998 reveals that the percentage of women in every role considered has declined;
  • Women comprised 6% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2007. 94% of the films had no female directors

The Oscars

In the 80-year history of the Academy Awards, women have been nominated for best director only twice. The last time a woman was nominated for best director was 2004 – Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation.

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