2017 Report: Percentage of women filmmakers stagnant for 20 years

In a 2003 interview with FF2 Media Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner, researcher Dr. Martha Lauzen addressed the gender disparity in Hollywood: “If you can change women’s representation in the media, you will change women’s place in the world. I think it’s that simple. But if change comes, it will come slowly.” Fifteen years later, the numbers remain the same.

Provided by The Center of the Study Women in Television and Film, Lauzen’s annual Celluloid Ceiling report reveals statistics that have virtually remained unchanged for 20 years: women accounted for only 18 percent of the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers on 2017’s top 250 films at the domestic box office.

“The film industry has utterly failed to address the continuing under-employment of women behind the scenes,” Lauzen said in a press release about the 2017 report. “This negligence has produced a toxic culture that supported the recent sexual harassment scandals and truncates so many women’s careers.”

The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements that reverberated throughout this year’s Golden Globes ceremony highlight the mistreatment and pay inequality of women in Hollywood – and can be validated with stagnant statistics. Women accounted for only 11 percent of those who directed top 250 grossing films (worth noting: the same percentage as the year 2000). Out of the 100 highest-grossing films, women comprised 16 percent of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors and cinematographers. Out of the top 500 movies, women represented 21 percent.

Read the full report on the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film’s website.

© Brigid K. Presecky (1/12/18) FF2 Media

Photo: BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenter Barbra Streisand,  the only woman to be awarded a Golden Globe for Best Director in 1984, speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

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Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.
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