US government’s workplace discrimination agency launches investigation into Hollywood’s gender gap

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Finally, some urgent action into Hollywood’s gender representation problem.

According to Hollywood trade paper Deadline, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – the federal agency which deals with workplace discrimination – has started emailing female film and television directors in order to interview them about the gender gap in the industry.

The investigation could lead to a massive class-action lawsuit against the industry, or a “solution aimed at boosting the ranks of female directors”, notes the Los Angeles Times.

It’s not too soon, either. Recent figures showed that only 4.6 per cent of all films released by the six major studios last year were directed by women (and that figure hasn’t been higher than 8.1 per cent since 2009). TV’s not much better, with only 16 per cent of directing jobs going to women.

While the investigation focuses on female directors, Deadline notes that the issue is more systemic.

A bunch of new infographics designed by Bitch Media, using ridiculous figures from the 2015 Media Diversity Report, highlight the extent to which white men are almost exclusively in control in Hollywood.

Just look at the disparities in head exec jobs in both TV and film:

Still, female directors, including Catherine Hardwicke – who directed the blockbuster smash Twilight, and the new Miss You Already – have understandably praised the decision.

“I’m so glad we’re finally attacking this,” she told the Times. “When I started out I was so naive, I didn’t realise what I was up against.”

 

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