|Image from Deadline|
Dr. Stacy Smith, director of USC’s Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative, announced tonight that she will be releasing a “ground-breaking” study later this year that she said will “test all the assumptions” that go into making a profitable motion picture. Speaking on a panel at the SAG-AFTRA headquarters on “Film’s Gender Problem,” she hinted that her study will explode many long held beliefs, including the myth that men shy away from movies with female leads, and that black stars don’t generate ticket sales overseas.
Clearly there’s no easy fix for Hollywood’s gender problem, but a good place to start would be for every studio and network head to see Caroline Suh’s documentary The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem, which was aired before the panel discussion. The film features an impressive line-up of industry folk discussing the problem, interspersed with some shocking statistics – including the fact that there was a higher percentage of women film directors in 1929 than there are now.
Several panelists suggested that the EEOC’s ongoing investigation of the scarcity of big-budget women film directors – the 4% referred to in the documentary – could be the catalyst to push Hollywood over that tipping point.
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