Under-representation of Women in Hollywood Movies

It is a known fact that Hollywood movies have always under-represented women. Meryl Streep discussed this issue in Women in Film’s 2012 Crystal and Lucy Awards night on June 12, at Beverley Hills.

14 years ago, 17% women and 83% men were employed for behind-the-scene jobs in 250 top Hollywood movies. Now, the number of women representing themselves in such jobs has improved, even if by a negligible rate. According to a study conducted on 250 movies by San Diego State University in 2011, it was seen that 18% women and 82% men represented themselves in behind-the-scene jobs. The study looked at writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, executive producers and editors.

Meryl Streep said that she was shocked to see the drastic difference in the representation of men and women in Hollywood movies. She added that most celebrities were unhappy with the fact that Hollywood movies had men but not women in the executive suites.

Since the last five years, only five movies have had women in the lead roles and these movies have earned 1.6 billion dollars at the box office, Streep informed the other female celebrities present at the ceremony.

Streep herself has acted in three out of the five movies that had women in lead roles. Without mentioning the name of the male centric movies, Meryl said that they had failed miserably at the box office. Streep said that the movie ‘The Iron Lady’ cost 14 million dollars to make, but generated 114 million dollars. She urged directors to make women oriented movies for pure profit, if not for anything else.

She was her witty self during the ceremony and had the crowd bursting into laughter, when she asked if the producers did not want their money back. Christina Applegate (who has acted in ‘Up all Night’) and 15 year old Chloe Grace Moretz, were felicitated with Max Mara Face of the Future award. The event also honoured Viola Davis, a performer and Bonnie Hammer who is NBC’s Universal executive.

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