Dr. Stacy L. SmithKering Talks: A
Dr. Stacy L. SmithKering Talks: A

Hollywood Sexism: By the Numbers

Women are making strides toward parity in the film business but there’s much more progress to be made, panelists at the Kering Women in Motion talk said Saturday.

While women are gaining more visibility on-screen — 40% of movies were led or co-led by females in 2018, according to USC professor Stacy L. Smith – behind the scenes the figures are more dismal for women in key filmmaking roles. Marvel may have hired “The Rider” director Chloe Zhao for “The Eternals,” but overall, bigger-budgeted films are being helmed by men.

“When money moves in, women are pushed out. Women aren’t projected into leadership roles, and when they are, they are punished more harshly,” Smith said at the talk moderated by Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller.

The numbers are even more daunting for female minority directors. According to USC research released earlier this year, only seven of the 46 women working across the 1,200 most popular films in the last 12 years were directed by female minorities. And women still lag behind men in key studio roles; Smith said that in the major studios, only 25% of leadership roles are held by women.

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