Hollywood’s Man Problem May Be A Matter Of Simple Math

By Meg James and Meredith Blake
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The numbers don’t lie. Hollywood has been a lousy place for women infront of and behind the camera. A USC diversity study recommended that companies keep more expansive lists of women to hire as directors and for other behind-the-scenes roles; industry pipelines, film schools and festivals should also set benchmarks for inclusion.

Los Angeles Times

For all of the hand-wringing over what enabled movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s bad behavior for decades, the answer likely lies in the numbers.

Mathematically, Hollywood has a man problem.

Men overwhelmingly dominate nearly every portion of Hollywood, from movie sets to the corporate suites.

Of the 100 top-grossing movies released last year, only five were directed by women, according to a USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism study. Men received nearly 87 percent of the screenwriting credits, the study found, and 79 percent of the producers were men.

And it’s not just movies. Men created three-quarters of the television shows that ran during the 2014-2015 TV season, USC found. And of the 1,550 executive positions in major entertainment companies, men filled more than 60 percent of them, and 80 percent of the highest-powered jobs.

A slew of studies, negative headlines and diversity programs has done little to budge the lopsided statistics.

“Hollywood is a big boys’ club, a big, white boys’ club,” said Jennifer Warren, chairwoman of the Alliance of Women Directors and a former actor and director. “Why would they want to change that? It’s not to their advantage.”

In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, however, the conversation has moved beyond issues of opportunity and parity to that of abuse.

For women trying to make it in a highly competitive industry, tolerating long hours, bawdy comments and inappropriate behavior has long been part of the job. Bullying is often prized in Hollywood, and women have long lacked the clout to stand up to their male bosses, powerful producers and crew chiefs.

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