SDSU Study Finds Women Largely Underrepresented in Hollywood

TOPSHOT- Activist Rosa Clemente actors Natalie Portman Michelle Williams America Ferrera Jessica Chastain Amy Poehler Meryl Streep  activists Ai-jen Poo and Saru Jayaraman attend the 19th Annual In Style And Warner Bros. Pictu

Women directors made up just 11 percent of directors past year, representing an increase of four percentage points from 2016, according to "The Celluloid Ceiling", an annual study sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

Women's struggles to win influential roles in the film industry have been well-documented - and extend far beyond the director's chair.

The statistic has not budged in the 20 years that Lauzen has been tallying the numbers. The analysis of the top 500 films reveals that features with at least one woman director employ higher percentages of women writers, editors, cinematographers, and composers than films with exclusively male directors. She pointed to her research that found only 1% of films previous year employed 10 or more women as directors, producers, editors, writers and cinematographers.

"If you look at the history of the film industry, the industry only changes only when it is absolutely forced to do so", Lauzen said. In comparison, none of the films had fewer than 1 man working in the roles counted by the report. "That is just outrageous inequality", Lauzen said.

During Sunday night's Golden Globes, the most powerful women in Hollywood donned black in support of Time's Up, a new initiative created to address pay disparity, discrimination and harassment in the industry in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Despite the chorus of women saying #MeToo, the fight against sexual harassment and abuse may be stymied by entertainment industry workplaces that remain chock-full of men.

At Sunday's Golden Globes, women dressed in black to protest sexual harassment. "When you have women working behind the scenes that frequently translates into more female characters on screens and you tend to see more powerful female characters".

The proportion of women working as directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers ― a group that shapes the stories told onscreen from their conception to filming to screening for audiences ― has remained virtually unchanged for two decades. Producers must possess problem-solving skills and generally work as a team.

Reinforcing findings of past studies, Lauzen determined that having women lead a film as director means that more women are brought on as writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers.

The toughest film occupation for women to land remains cinematographers.

The Celluloid Ceiling has tracked women's employment on top grossing films for the last 20 years.

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