2019 Had More Women in the Movie Industry In Over 13 Years and It’s Beautiful; But More Progress is Needed

Published on January 2, 2020

Going into 2020 we look towards a brighter future for women in the entertainment industry. Since 2018, the number of female film producers in the U.S. has increased 7%, achieving a double-digit 10.6% for 2019 — the highest number in 13 years, according to the latest “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair” report, conducted at USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.

The report provides the most comprehensive and intersectional look at film, having examined 53,178 characters in 1,200 top films from 2007 to 2018.

Now while that gender gap is still extremely wide, it’s promising to say the least, as we are beginning to see a change, however slow.

But what’s attributing to the change?

According to Dr. Stacy L. Smith, one of the authors of the study, Universal Pictures.

This is the first time we have seen a shift in hiring practices for female film directors in 13 years,” Dr. Smith explained. “One notable reason for this jump in 2019 was that Universal Pictures had 5 films with women directors at the helm in the top 100 movies.” 

Source: USC Annenberg

The films Dr. Smith is referring to includes Queen & Slim (Melina Matsoukas), Little (Tina Gordon), and Abominable (Jill Culton). But as we can all agree, more progress is needed.

Some are calling 2019 a “banner year” for women, but unfortunately, no banner should be raised until all women have equal access and opportunity to work and succeed in the industry.

This Year’s Golden Globes…Whose Being Snobbed?

And a very accurate question to say the least. Even with this growth, it still doesn’t seem to reflect upon the Golden Globes ceremony and its nominees…yet. The Golden Globes will take place on January 5 and sadly, almost all the directors nominated to the award, are men — the same as The Oscar’s back in 2019.

Related: Veteran-Host Ricky Gervais Reprises Role at 77th Golden Globes

The last woman mentioned was Ava DuVernay, back in 2015 for the film Selma, a movie about Martin Luther King’s journey and fight for equality.

DuVernay also directed When They See Us, released last year. The Netflix miniseries tells the story about the Central Park Five, a large group of young men who gathered on the corner of 110th Street and Fifth Avenue for the purpose of robbing and beating innocent people in Central Park.

The Central Park Five have long maintained their innocence, but were convicted of a number of other crimes back in their 1990 trials. There were many critics to this story, believing it to be “so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication,” according to former Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein.

With over 30 rioters and the woman known as the “Central Park jogger,” Trisha Meili, was one of several victims. Eight others were attacked, including two men who were beaten so savagely that they required hospitalization for head injuries.

According to The Washington Post, the film was a “brilliant story and one of the best TV shows produced all year.”

Over the past ten years, only two women were in the running for the Golden Globe, and only 1 woman out of all the 77 Golden Globe ceremonies won a Golden Globe for Best Director: Barbra Streisand.

Streisand took home a Golden Globe in 1984 for the film, Yentl.

IMDB also posted a list of the 100 best movies, comprised of 90 male directors and 22 female directors.

Why Such Small Numbers Though?

The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released a 2019 study that revealed a lack of job opportunities for women. The report separates the number of films produced by men and those produced by women.

Only 2.2% women have three films produced and men have 13.1%, almost six times more. Behind the scenes, women have more jobs related with hair, make-up, costume design and casting directors.

It seems that the idea of where the women belongs still conservative on this industry. The report also stated that 20% of Netflix productions were made by women, which gives us more hope to see more independent and talent directors working for diversify point of view, change our mind and the society.

This old thoughts about where they belong are not acceptable, also must include more black people that are also minority inside this organizations, considering that only 16 directors of Top 100 movies in 2018 were black or African-American. So even if the numbers present a change, it’s a long way to really diversify the industry.

Luciana Gontijo is Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Brazil, she focuses her writing on arts and entertainment. She was formerly with HuffPost Brazil.

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