13 Myths Hollywood Uses to Hide Discrimination Against Women Directors


By Maria Giese

1.  The number of women directors is so small because women are not really interested in directing and few women are exceptional enough to do a man’s job.

Right, so 1,250 women DGA director members pay their union dues just for the hell of it!  Believe us—we ARE interested!


2.  The ratio of women directors is improving—it’s just going to take time.

The ratio hasn’t changed significantly since the advent of cinema 100 years ago.  How much more time shall we plan on waiting?


3.  There are fewer women directors because more men attend film school.

Women make up 50% of the classes in almost every film school in the U.S.


4.  Men are better directors because they have more experience.

If experience were everything, no young men would ever enter the profession. Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” was his debut feature.  This argument diminishes the notion that some people are simply gifted in certain areas.


5.  It’s okay for women to direct small, independent femme-themed films, but men can handle all genres. And women certainly can’t be trusted with big budget features or episodic television, even if they are female driven stories.

Women can too!  It’s risible and hypocritical that almost all female driven stories are directed by men.


6.  It’s okay to say ”We don’t hire women on this show” (we hear it all the time), but it’s not okay to say “We don’t hire African Americans/Asians/Latinos, etc… on this show.”

Just think about that for a minute…


7.  Women studio executives are helping hire more women film and television directors.

There are more women studio executives today than ever, but fewer women directors.  Sony’s Amy Pascal could only conjure up the name of ONE women director when asked recently, and even remembering Kathryn Bigelow seemed to require some strained mental effort.


8.  The Director’s Guild of America really wants to help increase employment opportunities for its women members.

That’s why the ratio of male to female directors has remained in stasis for over two decades. The DGA is the organization charged with oversight of studio compliance of studio agreements to hire more women in accordance with U.S. civil rights laws.


9.  In America, we protect freedom of speech—women can speak out about discrimination in the film & TV industry without FEAR of reprisals.

The #1 reason women do not speak out about discrimination in Hollywood is that they are afraid of getting BLACKLISTED.


10.  America has a higher ratio of women directors than other nations around the world.

Almost all other countries in the world honor women directors more than the United States of America.


11.  Women directors are not successful because they don’t know how to get organized.

That sometimes seems true.  But women did manage to get the right to vote in America after several hundred years of fighting for suffrage.


12.  Hollywood has lots of wonderful diversity programs that help women break in to directing.

Not true. And over 20 years of failed Guild diversity programs have resulted in NO CHANGE in the ratios of women directors.


13.  Women directors succeed or fail based on merit and their films will get good reviews and big budgets for marketing & distribution if their films are good.

Not true.  Recent studies prove that since 80% of film critics are males, reviews of women’s films are disproportionately harsh.  Women’s features suffer from disproportionately low P&A budgets, and on average, open on many fewer screens.


Women Directors Speak Out (Cartoon)


“It’s great to hear women directors speak out at last,

but why aren’t they demanding change?”

DGA Contract Negotiations Set for November 4!

Directors Guild of America Sets Contract Negotiations With Companies

138“Oh, don’t be so damned pessimistic!”

Variety November 23, 2013:  “Following its typical pattern of going long before contract expiration, the Directors Guild of America has set Nov. 4 for contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers.

The DGA, which named Michael Apted and Thomas Schlamme as its negotiating committee co-chairs in February, has usually gone first in recent negotiation cycles between the AMPTP and the guilds.

The DGA’s current master contract expires June 30. Negotiations will be held at the AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks.

In a joint announcement Wednesday, the guild and the AMPTP — which serves as the negotiating arm for the companies — said they have already instituted a news blackout: “The DGA and the AMPTP have also agreed that neither organization will comment to the press regarding negotiations until negotiations have concluded.”

Go to: http://variety.com/2013/film/news/directors-guild-of-america-sets-contract-negotiations-with-companies-1200755214/


Five Civil Rights Lessons that Hollywood Manages to Ignore




By Maria Giese

These Five Lessons are gleaned from the 1978 U.S. Commission Report on Civil Rights that Hollywood Managed to Ignore:

1.  Hiring from a list of previously successful directors is a possible violation of Title VII when that list disproportionately, and in this case, overwhelmingly, under-represents women as a larger group.

2.  The EEOC discontinued monitoring the industry for gender employment inequity and therefore forfeited the opportunity to create a database that would clearly delineate the discrimination that has been rampant for the past 35 years.  The monitoring has been largely been left to the DGA and a handful of academics, like Stacy Smith, Ph.D and Martha Lauzen, Ph.D, in spite of a recommendation to do otherwise by the U.S. Civil Rights Advisory Committee.

3.  Ironically, one of the reasons sited for the under-employment of women in 1978 was the poor representation of women in positions of power among executives in the entertainment industry.  Today, in spite of the fact that many more women now hold executive power positions in the studios, the number of women directors has remained static or in decline for the past two decades.

4.  In 1978, consolidation and contraction of the industry was sited as the reason for the under-representation of women directors.  In the past two decades, the U.S. entertainment industry has exploded, now bringing in annual global revenues of over $100 billion dollars—yet the employment of women directors has barely moved.

5.  In 1978, recommendation #9 of the California Advisory Committee’s report states: “Studio managers’ evaluations should include a formal report on the effectiveness of their hiring women.”  If this was ever done, all studio managers should have been receiving FAILING MARKS.


43By Maria Giese

SUMMER 2013! With 4th of July just around the corner, it’s not too late to celebrate Hollywood’s contribution to our Summer Family Fun!

Let’s see what we’ve got for women — the primary decision-makers in American families about what movies to attend. What summer films express a female perspective?

Let’s have a look:


TOTAL MALE DIRECTORS = 45 (four co-directing teams)

TOTAL FEMALE DIRECTORS = 2 (one co-directs with a male director)

(That’s a male-to-female ratio of 96 to 4, or 4.4% women)

June 21 – First Day of Summer

o Monsters University – Directed by Dan Scanlon
o World War Z – Directed by Marc Forster

June 28

o Byzantium – Directed by Neil Jordan
o The Heat – Directed by Paul Feig
o I’m So Excited – Directed by Pedro Almodovar
o White House Down – Directed by Roland Emmerich

July 5

o Despicable Me 2 – Directed by Pierre Coffin & Pierre Renaud
o Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain – Directed by Tim Story
o Lone Ranger – Directed by Gore Verbinski
o The Way Way Back – Directed by Nax Faxon & Jim Rash

July 12

o Grown Ups 2 – Directed by Dennis Dugan
o Lovelace – Directed by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman
o Pacific Rim – Directed by Guillermo del Toro

July 19

o The Conjuring – Directed by James Wan
o Girl Most Likely – Directed by Shari Springer Bergman & Robert Pulcini
o Red 2 – Directed by Dean Parisot
o RIPD – Directed by Robert Schwentke
o Turbo – Directed by David Soren

July 25

o The To Do List – Directed by Maggie Carey

July 26

o Blue Jasmine – Directed by Woody Allen
o Fruitvale Station – Directed by Ryan Coogler
o The Wolverine – Directed by James Mangold

July 31

o The Smurfs 2 – Directed by Raja Gosnell

August 2

o The Spectacular Now – Directed by James Ponsoldt

August 9

o Elysium – Directed by Neil Blomkamp
o Only God Forgives – Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
o Planes – Directed by Klay Hall
o Prince Avalanche – Directed by David Gordon Green
o We’re the Millers – Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

August 16

o 2 Guns – Directed by Baltazar Kormakur
o Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Directed by David Lowery
o Austenland – Directed by Jerusha Hess
o Kick-Ass 2 – Directed by Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez
o Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – Directed by Thor Freudenthal

August 23

o The Mortal Instruments – Directed by Harald Zwart
o World’s End – Directed by Edgar Wright
o You’re Next – Directed by Adam Wingard

August 30

o Getaway – Directed by Courtney Solomon (a guy)
o Insidious Chapter 2 – Directed by James Wan
o One Direction: This is Us – Directed by Zyan Malik