Hollywood Under Investigation For Gender Discrimination

It’s official: Hollywood is under investigation for gender discrimination. According to the Associated Press, the ACLU and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs have been called to launch an investigation against Hollywood for discrimination.

For some context, here’s a few mind blowing percentages about women in Hollywood. In 2015, Variety published a study analyzing 250 films, here’s what the outlet gathered.

“In 2014, 85% of films had no female directors, 80% had no female writers, 33% had no female producers, 78% had no female editors and 92% had no female cinematographers, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.”

IndieWire also brings up more discouraging numbers.

“Statics show that women directed 7% of Hollywood films and roughly 14% of TV shows in 2015; what’s more, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ membership consists largely of white males.”

Back then, Dr. Martha Lauzen spoke of the current climate in Hollywood:

“The cultural zeitgeist at the moment is very concerned with providing more people with more opportunities, but the numbers have yet to move,. We’re getting a lot of public dialogue about the issue as actors like Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep speak up, but we haven’t seen that groundswell result in higher numbers.”

As far as seeing progress, ACLU attorney Melissa Goodman states that she’s “encouraged” by how serious this investigation is and how it’s being handled. In a statement to IndieWire she declared her position.

“Our hope is that they’ll push industry leaders to address the ongoing violations of civil rights women directors in the industry have experienced and are experiencing.”

It’s not a huge surprise that gender inequality happens in Hollywood, in fact, recently there’s been some important voices, particularly people of power, talking about how under-used and under-paid women are in comparison to their male co-stars.

Patricia Arquette brought up specifically the gender equality debate during her acceptance for her Academy Award for Best Actress in Boyhood. While she was cheered from the audience by faces like Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez, following her comments Arquette came forward and said she lost out on two roles because of her speech.

“I’m okay with [losing those jobs]. But it’s not just about acting, and it’s not about me as an actor. I don’t believe this is fair for anybody. I want to live in the America I believe in, that really is fair, that really has possibilities, and really does treat people of all races and all sexes equally.”

Then, Jennifer Lawrence who is arguably Hollywood’s most famous “it” girl, wrote an essay on Lena Dunham’s e-zine, Lenny about being paid less than all of her American Hustle male co-stars. Lawrence’s salary dispute was leaked during the Sony hack, and before then the star didn’t know just how much more her male co-stars were being paid.

After she found out, via the hack, she felt like she could have negotiated for more, but she addressed a more pressing issue in her essay, which was the way women were expected to act as opposed to men.

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! F**k that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves.”

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]