Is Hollywood really as sexist and discriminatory against female directors as people say, or are we all just being a bunch of drama queens?
Bloomberg asked that question to several female filmmakers, including Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, former DGA president Martha Coolidge, and Oscar nominee Lexi Alexander, and their answers are pretty eye-opening and -- well -- straight up depressing.
At this point, if you don't see that there's something wrong, or at the very least, questionable about the hiring practices of Hollywood studios, as well as the overall treatment of women in the industry, all you need to do is look around a film set, or open your browser and read the Shit People Say to Women Directors Tumblr. If you're still not convinced of any discriminatory treatment, then that Bloomberg video might've filled you in on the struggles women face as they
work try to find work in the industry. If you're still not convinced, perhaps ask yourself why the ACLU has launched a campaign asking state and federal agencies to investigate the hiring practices of the major studios in Hollywood, as well as TV networks, the Directors Guild, and talent agencies. (If you haven't signed the ACLU's petition, you can do that here.)
The solution to this problem, if there is a problem -- and I only say "if" because I'm trying (barely) to be objective, is complicated. It's a complicated issue after all. The ACLU's demand for an inquiry into Hollywood's hiring practices is a great place to start, since, obviously, there needs to be evidence of wrongdoing before any legal action can take place. But the Bloomberg video is a great place for all of us to start to gain some insight and perspective on a side of the film industry we may know nothing about. I'm sure we've all seen and/or experienced sexism and discrimination while working on a film, and unfortunately these are not isolated incidents. The problem is systemic.
And to all those who will undoubtedly respond to this by saying, "People should be hired based on talent and capability," I 100% agree. In fact, if the industry actually did that, there would be more women working in film. Period.