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In recent years we have seen more female stories on the screen. However, on International Women's Day, we wonder if the same thing happens behind the camera
Hollywood has changed in the last decade. For a few years now, women have demanded more representation on the screen and they have achieved it. From the #MeToo movement and complaints within the industry, women have shown that they can demand not only a dignified treatment but equal pay, more work within the industry, etc. A new era began in which professionals in the film industry understood the political nature of their work and the power of cinema and television, as entertainment for the masses, within the feminist struggle for equal rights. In recent years we have seen more films with women protagonists and we have heard more speeches of female empowerment in the awards ceremonies every time an actress takes a prize.
Leer en español: ¿Cómo está Hollywood en inclusión femenina detrás de la pantalla?
The representation on the screen is undoubtedly one of the struggles around which this new movement in Hollywood has revolved. It is undoubtedly essential because, for example, seeing herself on the screen can change the life of a black girl. It is crucial in the sense that the existence of a large part of the public was denied for a long time in films starring exclusively white men. Now, children can see a black superhero on the screen and feel themselves inspired to be heroes, as well as understand that in the world there are others like them.
Today, March 8, is celebrated the struggle of women who died in the fire of a textile factory in New York after having demanded decent work conditions. This could be compared with the movement that today requires the same in the cinematic industry. However, the women who died in the March 8 fire were almost opposite to the actresses we see today wearing black dresses on the red carpet of the Golden Globes to say that it was enough (Time's Up). The women who died in such an unfair fire were working women who made clothes. That is to say that, in a certain way, they worked behind the scenes: they made clothes that the public wore without knowing who had made them or under what conditions. That's why today we want to review how Hollywood is in terms of engaging women outside of acting, who makes the movies we see?
According to 5050by2020, an organization that since 2016 is dedicated to review the employment quotas in Hollywood and to monitor the wage gap, even today the numbers are scandalous. According to their numbers, 74% of writers on all Hollywood platforms are men. That is to say that, although there are more stories today featuring women, these stories are being written by men: in the end they are, again, men writing about women. This publication also states that 81% of the Hollywood board members are men. This figure means, then, that those who decide which stories are taken to the big screen, which ones do not and how much money each one receives are, for the most part, men.
Women in TV and Film, a body that monitors gender equality in the film industry, studied behind-the-camera jobs in the 100 most successful films of 2018. The results of the study are also saddening. Last year "women represented 16% of the directors, executive producers, producers, writers, editors and cinematographers who worked on the 100 films with the most royalties. This does not represent any change since 2017 " (women accounted for 16% of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 100 films. This represents no change from 2017).
Although there are two different categories of better performance at the Academy Awards, which gives the illusion that men and women were working equally in Hollywood, the truth is that behind the scenes there is an undeniable inequality. Of course, there are some specific jobs in which women stand out more than others, but in all cases, the inequality of jobs is obvious: the films we see are made almost exclusively by men. Not only do women represent a small percentage of the total employees behind the scenes of Hollywood films, but in many cases, they are not even taken into account. The study says that out of 250 films, "92% did not have women directors, 73% did not have female writers, 42% did not have executive producers, 27% did not have female producers, 74% did not have publishers and 96% did not I had female cinematographers "(92% had no women directors 73% had no women writers 42% had no women exec. producers 27% had no women producers 74% had no women editors 96% had no women cinematographers).
It can be seen in the figures that the jobs that women have been able to enter the most are those of producers, which consists of the logistics of the set. This is contrasted with how little they are employed as executive producers, a position that has more to do with money and financing projects. Perhaps the jobs in which there are fewer women are in those related to sound (mixing and editing) and the music of the movies. Last year there were six women composers for every 94 men who made music for the film. The issue of cinematography is also worrisome, where the participation of women is almost nil.
Thus, even the films of female empowerment that we see today would also be made almost exclusively by men. This shows that even if we see ourselves on the screen, the road is still long and today we must not only celebrate but demand more jobs for women behind the scenes.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón
Translated from "¿Cómo está Hollywood en inclusión femenina detrás de la pantalla?"