Women are continuously getting shut out of Hollywood. From Jennifer Lawrence’s open letter on the gender pay gap to Maureen Dowd’s New York Times Magazine exposé, “The Women of Hollywood Speak Out,” the fight for equality rages on. Read filmmaker Rachel Feldman’s response HERE.
Part one of three by FF2 Media Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky
Actress Meryl Streep recently called out Rotten Tomatoes after she discovered that the ratio of male to female film critics is 760 to 168. “I submit to you that men and women are not the same, they like different things. Sometimes they like the same thing but sometimes their tastes diverge,” Streep told The Daily Beast. “If the Tomatometer is slighted so completely to one set of tastes, that drives the box office in the United States, absolutely,” she said.
Embedded in Dowd’s comprehensive article about the fight for fair treatment and equal pay, writer/director Dee Rees wonders if the problem extends beyond the studios, asking, “Is it also a problem with critics, that there are not enough female or African-American critics to sound the bell that this is great work?” Hundreds of films by female filmmakers are released each year. They are excluded from awards consideration and have low box office turnout – even the best of them. Why? FF2 Media’s award-winning Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner has an answer that centers on structural reasons why women are not being fairly represented in Hollywood.
From the day a film premieres at a festival to the night of the Academy Awards, it endures a large sieve of male critiques. Like Rotten Tomatoes (which is composed of roughly 17% women and 83% men), many critics’ associations across the country have a disproportionate percentage of female voices. For example, of the 52-member Chicago Film Critics
Association, only eight are women. The percentage of women in New York is slightly higher. With approximately 600 films released annually, the voting system is neither objective nor balanced.
Continue reading: Part II
© Brigid K. Presecky FF2 Media (12/15/15)
Photo Credits: Loveleen Tandan (ITB Berlin), Meryl Streep (The Daily Beast) Jennifer Lawrence (Vogue)