Shocker: Women still vastly under-represented in Hollywood


The Women’s Media Center has released their annual report documenting the state of women both in front of and behind the camera in film and television. Unsurprisingly, the findings are embarrassing. Below are 10 shocking facts from the report (which I highly recommend you read in its entirety here). I compiled these facts from articles in The Hollywood Reporter, TIME and The Mary Sue. Big thanks to Monica, my girlfriend and all-round awesome person, for pointing me in the direction of this study.

  • The highest-paid female movie star, Angelina Jolie, makes about the same per movie as the two lowest-paid male A-list stars, Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson. Her $33 million paycheck is dwarfed by the $75 million Robert Downey Jr. rakes in as the highest-paid movie star for the Iron Man movies.
  • Only six percent of the top 100 films in 2012 hired a balanced cast of women and men.
  • Women represent 28.8% of speaking characters in the top-grossing films in 2012.
  • While female characters are on the rise, the number of female protagonists have declined. In 2002, female characters accounted for 16% of protagonists. In 2011, females comprised only 11%.
  • For production of the 250 top-grossing domestically made films of 2013, women accounted for 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors, slightly lower than the 2012 and 1998 figures.
  • In 2013, women directed 50% of the competition films at Sundance, but only 1.9% of the top-grossing movies.
  • Over a five-year period ending in 2012, the 500 top-grossing movies had 565 directors, 33 of whom were black and two of that 33 were black women.
  • Women had 43% of speaking parts in prime-time TV, according to the latest study, up from 41% previously. Of the women who did get speaking roles in movies, 34.6% were black, 33.9% were Hispanic, and 28.8% were white. And of all the speaking characters, Latina women were most likely to be depicted semi-nude.
  • More white women but fewer women of color have been directing prime-time TV shows but the overall numbers for women has remained virtually unchanged.
  • According to a two-month snapshot in 2013, men wrote 82% of all film reviews.


Oh, and in completely unrelated news, the industry is still ruled by crusty white old men – not that race has anything to do with it. Things are the same, if not worse, in other film industries around the world.

Source: Women’s Media Center, THR, TIME


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