The Directors Guild of America has released a damning report on gender and race based inequality in Hollywood. The figures show that just 6.4% of feature films released in 2013-2014 were directed by women, while 12.5% were helmed by minority directors. While actor Jessica Chastain and writer/director/actor Lena Dunham have called for greater equality and diversity within the film industry, these statistics are a cold, morbid representation on an industry led my white men, catering to predominantly white men.
DGA President Paris Barclay has stated, “What this report does not reflect is what people who love film – even our culture as a whole – are missing when such a disproportionate percentage of films are directed by one gender or one ethnicity. Unfortunately, we don’t have a metric for that”.
The Centre for Study of Women in Television and Film has found that when a female director is employed for a project, a more equal level of gender equality follows in other behind-the-scenes roles. Director of the organisation, Martha Lauzen, has said “The findings suggest that women directors, executive producers and producers may serve and important gateway function in the employment of other women in key behind-the-scenes roles“.
Greater diversity in creative roles is beneficial for art and culture, greater diversity in general employment is beneficial for culture and our shared future. Patriarchy and male privilege are very much in control in Hollywood, but this long list of ‘inconvenient’ reports will hopefully chip away at some of the foundations.