Sony's Amy Pascal Reveals the Gap Between Men and Women in the Film Industry
Earlier this month we opened up the discussion on female directors in Hollywood, sharing data that revealed that women weren’t finding as much directorial success in Hollywood as their male counterparts. The reasons for this were more speculative than conclusive, but a recent Forbes’ interview with Sony Head Amy Pascal, discussing the pay gap between men and women in the industry, offers an inside look into the business as well as insight into why incongruity between the genders exists.
Ranked 14th on Forbes’ World’s 20 Most Powerful Women in Business list, Amy Pascal is the only female head of a major studio, making the importance of this interview twofold. She also doesn’t shy away from Forbes’ Dorothy Pomerantz’s hard-hitting questions, like why women get paid less than men in Hollywood and how she balances producing films geared towards men and ones geared towards women.
At one point in the interview, Pascal compares the movie business to the music and publishing business. She says that there are many successful women in music and publishing, because a musician or writer can produce their work without going through a gauntlet of rejection first.
I was trying to figure out why and what happens in those other industries. It is that you can write a hit song or you can write a book that everybody is going to love, and you just show up with it and there is no denying it, because everyone in the business is looking to make money. And when they see something that’s going to make money, they want it. For a woman to direct a movie in Hollywood, she has to go through so many layers of rejection by the powers that be — I suppose including myself — that it is harder to get to that point. So you can’t just create something. And I think there is a whole unconscious mountain.
Pascal touches on a lot of great points, so check out the interview below.
Though Pascal doesn’t offer any much-needed solutions to the problems affecting her (our) industry, at least she owns up to the fact that they do indeed exist, as well as taking some of that responsibility. Admitting that female directors are working in a system that is “geared for them to fail” gives some reprieve to talented and capable female filmmakers who questioned, “Is it just me? Is it just us?” No, it’s not.
However, we still don’t quite know, at least from this interview, what exactly has been put in place — if anything, and by whom, to both deter women from getting directing jobs and obstructing their ascent to success. So, unfortunately another story on females in Hollywood ends in speculation, but at least we’ve found another piece to the puzzle.
What do you think about Amy Pascal’s interview? What are your thoughts on women in film?