Asia Kate Dillon of “Billions” is calling on the Television Academy to scrap gendered categories. But the organization and others have no plans for change, for now.
Poor box office the first weekend led to controversy over the Olivia Wilde-directed comedy. But as it heads into Week 2, is it being held to an unfair standard?
Brooks BarnesCara Buckley / The New York Times
Look a little closer at the movies on studio rosters — and who is directing them — and Hollywood’s inclusion narrative around diversity falls apart by one crucial measure. Even after years of being called to task for sidelining female filmmakers, studios as a whole continue to rely overwhelmingly on men to lead productions. Why the disconnect?
Besides being overwhelmingly male, the profession is often handed down through families, and there are third- and fourth-generation grips, or “hammers,” as they are known in the business.
The Independent Spirits Awards celebrate films made for $20 million or less; female directors far and away work with much lower budgets than their male counterparts, and it is refreshing to seem them honored in that space.
There have been grumblings that the group is cliquey and disorganized, and that its members have used meetings to network. There have also been whispered concerns that it has overshadowed decades of work by others long devoted to advancing the gender equity cause. But Tina Tchen, who spearheaded the creation of the legal defense fund, said that thousands of callers, hailing from 60 industries, have contacted the organization for guidance, and that two-thirds were lower income.
Cara Buckley / Creative Artists Agency
Additional Sources: Female-led films outperform at box office for 2014-2017
According to research released Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, female critics tend to give higher ratings to films with women in leading roles than male critics do: women writers gave an average rating of 74 percent to films starring women, whereas male writers gave those films an average rating of 62 percent. Those figures leveled off more when men were in leading roles; women critics gave those films an average rating of 73 percent, and men on average rated them 70 percent.
Called Time’s Up, the movement was announced on Monday with an impassioned pledge of support to working-class women in an open letter signed by hundreds of women in show business, many of them A-listers. The letter also ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times, and in La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper. “The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” the letter says.
The commission’s mission, according to a news release, is to “tackle the broad culture of abuse and power disparity. The commission will lead the entertainment industry toward alignment in achieving safer, fairer, more equitable and accountable workplaces —particularly for women and marginalized people,” according to a statement released Friday evening.