New York Film Academy Premieres Infographic on Gender Inequality
The gender inequality in film and television is long-standing and undeniable, and sadly, it’s not exactly on the decline. Though it’s great that we’re ending 2013 ending on a high note for women in film thanks to the great success of female-led Catching Fire and female-directed Frozen, it’s probably a bit early to get overly-optimistic about the upcoming year. What got me thinking about this particular topic again? A recent and very eye-opening infographic on gender inequality in film by the insiders at the New York Film Academy.
Are there women in film using their talents and having success as writers, directors, and actors? Absolutely, and their work should not be discounted. But the fact remains that the percentages of women in all areas of film compared to those of men is so unbalanced that it’s almost comical. Almost. You might expect the misogyny to lie primarily behind the scenes, but the NYFA’s infographic tells us that from 2007-2012, even the number of speaking roles in films was terribly lopsided – only 30.8% of film characters with a speaking role were women. A quick glance at the infographic’s section on how those women onscreen are portrayed shows that the news there isn’t positive, either. (And for more on that subject you should definitely watch my friend, Jennifer Seibel Newsom’s documentary Miss Representation.
Behind the scenes the numbers are even more stark: in the top 250 films of 2012, only 9% were directed by women. Females accounted for only 15% of writers, 17% of executive producers, and 25% of producers. Cinematographer was the job with the smallest number of women; just 2% of the top films of 2012 had a woman behind the camera.
So what can be done about this gender inequality in film? Without a doubt, strides are being made, but there seems to be a need for a real impetus to get things truly moving in the right direction. Efforts like Miss Representation and Geena Davis’s Institute on Gender in Media are absolutely fantastic vehicles for change, but how long will they have to tirelessly work until Hollywood truly starts offering more and better roles to women both in front of and behind the camera? That’s a question that we think simply doesn’t have an answer at the moment.
What do you think of the NYFA’s infographic? Were you surprised by the numbers, or were they what you expected to see? What do you think needs to happen to bring some gender balance to film?
View full Infographic: NYFA Infographics