George Clooney On Sony Hack: Women In Hollywood May Have Been The Only Winners

Like most of the Hollywood elite, George Clooney was not amused by the damage inflicted on the American movie industry by the Sony hack. George, however, took his outrage a step further than many of his colleagues by composing a petition that called for the film world to stand firm against the hackers’ demands. Clooney hoped to snatch their attention with an impassioned speech, he indicated to Deadline at the time.

“We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty. We hope these hackers are brought to justice but until they are, we will not stand in fear. We will stand together.”

But not everyone would get behind George’s words, even if they agreed with him privately. As the scandal raged on, the Hollywood mainstay man stuck to his original position, even today speaking out against not just the Sony hackers, but the press, politicians, and film industry heads who reacted to it.

However, Clooney also notes that some of the information leaked in the hack yielded positive debate around one of the key issues plaguing Hollywood — the gender pay gap between female and male stars and executives. Not only did George recently tell BBC Radio 4 that women in Hollywood face lower wages, but he also notes just how sparsely the field of core directors is populated with female faces, noted the Hollywood Reporter.

“One good thing that’s come out of [the Sony hack] is the conversation in very liberal Hollywood that women aren’t being paid the same and… there’s something like 15 female directors in a town of directors. I think it’s a very good conversation that they’re starting to have.”

Clooney may be right about the outcome for the gender gap in the post-Sony hack era. Earlier this month, Variety reported that the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) is calling for a “state and federal investigation” into Tinseltown gender discrimination. In the letter announcing the action, Melissa Goodman, director of the L.G.B.T., Gender, and Reproductive Justice Project at the A.C.L.U. of Southern California, said that extensive interviews have revealed a pernicious gender bias in Hollywood.

“Employers steer and pigeonhole women to particular types of projects and exclude them from others, based on sex stereotypes. Nearly every woman with whom we spoke had either experienced directly or was aware of the widespread perception that women are better suited to and typically only considered for projects that are ‘women=oriented,’ such as romantic comedies, women-centered shows, or commercials for ‘girl’ products.”

Do you agree with George Clooney’s thoughts on the Sony hack?

[Image via Win McNamee / Getty Images]