A Gender Problem Or A Mom Problem?

By Mathilde Dratwa
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great piece by Mathilde Dratwa, a film director and founder of “Moms-in-Film”. Dratwa points out, directors, especially women, often find it hard to get their second features greenlighted, a struggle that frequently corresponds to the stage in their lives when it makes the most sense to start a family. Parent-friendly practices would help women in this situation sustain their careers.

Los Angeles Times

In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating allegations of Hollywood’s systematic discriminatory hiring practices against female directors. By February of this year, the major Hollywood studios were in settlement talks with the EEOC, according to the website Deadline Hollywood.

It is not yet clear what measures the studios will take to resolve the issue, but industry representatives reportedly rejected a variation of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” used to increase racial diversity among pro football coaches. Applied to Hollywood, it would require studios to interview female candidates and candidates of color for every director job.

Insisting on inclusive hiring is hardly a revolutionary idea. Producer-director-writer Ryan Murphy has already surpassed his own goal of hiring 50 percent female directors on his TV shows, and he asks each of his department heads to hire 50 percent women as well: “If you don’t have them, like the grip department, train them.” Similarly, director Ava DuVernay dictates that department heads on her projects can’t bring her all-white, all-male crew hire lists.

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