Even though women are half of ticket buyers, only 4 percent of the 100 top-grossing films over the last decade were directed by women. Women make up 11 percent of writers, 3 percent of cinematographers, 19 percent of producers and 14 percent of editors. The quality of women’s roles, once so rich in the ’30s and ’40s, has atrophied. Last year, women comprised only 29 percent of protagonists.
There has been lip service given to fixing the inequality, but no one in power ever raised holy hell about it — not the women studio chiefs, not the male studio executives, not the unions.
Hollywood was a warped society and everyone knew it. Gender stereotypes were enshrined in amber: Women can’t direct because it’s too risky to trust them with big budgets; they get too emotional; they only want to direct movies where people talk or, God forbid, cry; they don’t have the authority to come across as commanding generals.