×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Women in Hollywood Suffer ‘Radical Underrepresentation’ in Top 2018 Films, Study Says

While Hollywood women have made incremental gains in below-the-line jobs like producing and editing, they backslid as feature film directors and continue on a path of “radical underrepresentation” in the industry, a new study says.

Martha Lauzen’s “Celluloid Ceiling,” a comprehensive report of women’s behind-the-scenes employment in film run out of San Diego State University, hit on Thursday — and its analysis comes with a blazing criticism that Hollywood’s value shift is only lip service until the industry commits to transparency.

“The study provides no evidence that the mainstream film industry has experienced the profound positive shift predicted by so many industry observers over the last year. This radical underrepresentation is unlikely to be remedied by the voluntary efforts of a few individuals or a single studio,” said Dr. Martha Lauzen, study author and executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at SDSU.

“Without a large-scale effort mounted by the major players – the studios, talent agencies, guilds, and associations – we are unlikely to see meaningful change. The distance from 8% to some semblance of parity is simply too vast. What is needed is a will to change, ownership of the issue – meaning the effort originates with the major players, transparency, and the setting of concrete goals. Will, ownership, transparency, and goals are the keys to moving forward,” Lauzen said.

Among the findings in a survey of employment of 3,076 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2018:

In 2018, women comprised 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 18% in 2017.

Last year, only 1% of films employed 10 or more women in the [the surveyed] roles. In contrast, 74% of films employed 10 or more men.

Women accounted for 8% of directors working on the top 250 films in 2018, down 3 percentage points from 11% in 2017. This is 1 percentage point below the 9% achieved in 1998.

Or, put another way in the same parameters: 92% of had no women directors, 73% had no women writers, 42% had no women exec. producers, 27% had no women producers, 74% had no women editors, and 96% had no women cinematographers.

As directors, a highly-visible change target with women like Ava DuVernay and awards hopefuls like Karyn Kusama at the front of the conversation, women fared the worst at 8% hired for the top 250 films last year. They were second only to cinematographers (only 4% of the top 250 films employed women, the same amount as in 2017).

It’s not all grim news. Women made the strongest showing as producers (26%) followed by executive producers (21%). Women composers were up 3%, sound editors up 2% and sound designers up by one from 2017.

For full findings and more information about Celluloid Ceiling, click here.

More Film

  • Jada Pinkett SmithMTV Movie & TV

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards are returning to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations are front runners “Avengers: Endgame” and “Game of Thrones” with four nominations apiece, as well as the Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG,” which scored another four nods. This year’s show also [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Jon Ham Richard Jewell

    Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm Join Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s already star-studded drama “Richard Jewell.” Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother. The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair [...]

  • Where the Wind Blows

    Hong Kong's 'Where the Wind Blows' Sidesteps Protests For China Promo

    Hong Kong film director Philip Yung and his cast were in Shanghai on Monday to promote their upcoming film “Where the Wind Blows.” They revealed new details while cautiously sidestepping — for the most part — the awkward issue of last week’s massive civil protests in Hong Kong against a controversial bill that would have [...]

  • Awkwafina Oscars 2019

    Awkwafina, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde Among Maui Film Festival Honorees

    Held in beautiful Wailea, Hawaii, the 2019 Maui Film Festival honored Awkwafina, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Gina Rodriguez, Maya Erskine and Joe Manganiello with awards at this year’s festival running June 12-16. In addition to screening films and hosting several food and culture events, the film fest gave out awards to the actors for their [...]

  • Dee Rees

    Dee Rees Directing 'Kyd's Exquisite Follies' Movie Musical

    “Mudbound” director Dee Rees will direct independent movie musical fantasy “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” from her own script. “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” will be produced by Cassian Elwes, one of the “Mudbound” producers. Santigold is set to compose the music, with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic creating the film’s visual effects. Endeavor Content is repping the [...]

  • The Paradise

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Paradise'

    Although gritty dramas about the hell of drug addiction are seldom in short supply in the low-budget independent sphere, it’s hard to imagine even the most uncompromising U.S. film committing quite as tenaciously to the idea of the bleak futility and probable failure of rehabilitation as Shih Han Liao’s compelling downer “The Paradise” (title ironic). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content