By David Ng
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The new study comes as Hollywood continues to grapple with a host of gender-discrimination issues, including pay disparity between male and female actors and a wave of sexual harassment scandals that sparked the #MeToo movement.
Los Angeles Times
As a Hollywood script supervisor with nearly three decades of experience, Dawn Gilliam has worked on major blockbusters including “Black Panther” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” But even with a stellar resume, Gilliam said she still experiences condescension and bias on a regular basis.
Some of the affronts are casual in nature, including being pejoratively called “scripty” on set. “It kind of devalues what the job is,” Gilliam said during a break in the Philadelphia shoot of “Creed II.” “We sit with the director. Our notes go to the producer. So, no, I don’t think so.”
She said more pernicious bias comes in the form of pay disparity. “When you ask for more money, a higher hourly rate, they say, ‘We don’t have it.’ It’s discouraging,” Gilliam said.
Her experience is not isolated. A new report commissioned by her union shows certain female-dominated craft professions such as script supervisors and art department coordinators typically receive hundreds of dollars per week less than their counterparts in comparable male-dominated crafts. In addition, the report found that sexual harassment and other forms of gender bias are prevalent in these professions.
The new report, titled “‘Script Girls,’ Secretaries and Stereotypes: Gender Pay Equity on Film and Television Crews”, was commissioned by IATSE Local 871, which represents a wide range of below-the-line craftspeople who work on movie and TV sets.
Its findings prompted a call for industry-wide reform. In an open letter to the entertainment industry, a coalition of groups, including the ACLU, Women in Media and the National Women’s Law Center, cited the California Fair Pay Act, which prohibits employers from paying women less than they pay men for substantially similar work.