In response to Ann Farmer: And today’s women writers think they’ve got it tough . . . , KilowattTyler wrote:
Something similar’s been happening in Hollywood.
One of the items in yesterday’s news on BBC was about ‘sexism in Hollywood’. During the report on this ‘news’ item, the complaint was made that Hollywood producers are overwhelmingly male ‘in spite of the fact that most people watching films are female’.
Now then . . .
1. Why don’t the multi-millionaire women who appear at the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes club together to set up their own studio(s) and distribution company? After all, in 1919 four actors, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and D W Griffith did precisely that (forming United Artists) because they were unhappy with existing film companies.
2. If most film-watchers are female why aren’t films made by women more popular? In fact why is anything other than market forces needed to ensure that female-produced films come to predominate?
Film-making is normally a very expensive process, but not always. The Blair Witch Project had a budget of just $60,000 but grossed more than $140,000,000. Get it right and you can make a very popular film for a modest outlay. If you spend money on making boring, pretentious art-house stuff neither women nor men will be interested. Agitprop appeals only to political activists. People wish to be entertained; they are not interested in being lectured to.
There is really no ‘barrier’ to women in the film industry. There are no legal restrictions on women financing, directing, scriptwriting or acting in films. We must suspect that those complaining about male dominance in Hollywood are either not confident that they can make popular films, or are too risk-averse or lazy to achieve predominance by any means other than destroying the careers of successful men.