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Women In 2013 Movies: Study Finds “Gender Inertia” Behind The Scenes

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 11:07am PST

The 16th annual “Celluloid Ceiling” report released today comes with this warning: “The employment of women working in key behind-the-scenes roles in film continues to stagnate.” The findings of San Diego State zero-dark-thirty-kathryn-bigelow-600x400University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reflect a state of “gender inertia,” says the org’s executive director Dr. Martha Lauzen. The report shows that women accounted for just 16% of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the 250 films with the highest domestic grosses in 2013. That figure is 2% lower than in 2012, and 1% lower than findings of the inaugural study in 1998. It also comes a year after Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and a handful of years after she won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.

The center analyzed behind-the-scenes employment of 2,938 individuals and found that women accounted for just 6% of all directors working on the top-grossing films of last year, a 3% drop from 2012. (With foreign films included, the 2013 director figure is 8%.) The number of female producers remained the same from 2012 to 2013 but did increase 1 percentage point to 25% from 1998. The percentage of cinematographers also increased from 2% in 2012 to 3% in 2013.

Related: More Women Were Working In TV During 2012-13 Season Than Ever Before: Study

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Aaron Sorkin On ‘Social Network’ Women

Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse into why Hollywood portrays women the way it does on the big screen. The backstory is that Emmy-winning writer-producer-director Kev Levine’s blog posted a comment complaining about The Social Network‘s “lack of a decent portrayal of women. With the exception of 1 or 2 of them (Rashida Jones included), they were basically sex objects/stupid groupies… kinda makes me think that Aaron Sorkin (though I love his writing) failed the women in this script. Kind of a shame considering he’s written great women characters like C.J. Cregg!” So the pic’s screenwriter Aaron Sorkin responded:

“Believe me, I get it. It’s not hard to understand how bright women could be appalled by what they saw in the movie but you have to understand that that was the very specific world I was writing about. Women are both prizes an equal. Mark’s blogging that we hear in voiceover as he drinks, hacks, creates Facemash and dreams of the kind of party he’s sure he’s missing, came directly from Mark’s blog. With the exception of doing some cuts and tightening (and I can promise you that nothing that I cut would have changed your perception of the people or the trajectory of the story by even an inch) I used Mark’s blog verbatim. Mark said, “Erica Albright’s a bitch” (Erica isn’t her real name — I changed three names

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Hollywood Has To Stop Behaving Like This

Jeez, what is Hollywood thinking when it comes to its past and present terrible treatment of women? Turns out even Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s always been well known in showbiz circles as the daughter of the late (and great) TV producer and director Bruce Paltrow (St Elsewhere, The White Shadow), answers in the affirmative when asked if she’s ever had a casting couch experience. ”Yup,” she tells Elle magazine in its new ”Women In Hollywood” issue. “When I was just starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom. I left. I was pretty shocked. I could see how someone who didn’t know better might worry, ‘My career will be ruined if I don’t give this guy a blow job!’”

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