Sunny, sexist Hollywood
Women directed just 7% of Hollywood 's top 250 films last year and made up only 11% of writers and 23% of producers, according to The Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University (Colon 2015, prgrh. 2). Sunny Hollywood lies within the city of Los Angeles, California, home of American film industry since early 1900s. Only 50 years back, sexism was a common and normal perception in the world. Therefore, it is no surprise that this manner was inflicted on the film industry in Hollywood. However, since that time most of the world seems to have progressed, except Hollywood. In fact, the film industry in Hollywood is not at all reflective of the direction of which society is moving.
Most women in Hollywood working in the film industry experience sexism on a daily basis. Actresses, directors, screenwriters etc. have dealt with prejudice and discrimination for years. Now, more and more are speaking up about the issue, trying to make a change. Female director Lexi Alexander said to the guardian that 99% of women working in the film and television industry have experienced sexism. (Day, Hoggard, Bromwich 2015, prgrh. 10) To back up her statement, she listed these examples;
“I can list endless examples, from the driver who refused to take me because he was told to wait for the director (which was me) to the executives who insist they need a male director for a film about boxing and fighting, then hire a guy who never had
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Women are overly sexualized in movies, music videos and other media sources such as the news. Women are also seen being disrespected throughout other media sources. With an analysis of the documentary, women are seen as sexual objects through the eyes of men and it happen
Women, following this ruling, would continue to be placed in lower jobs than men on the basis that they were not interested in it and had different values than men. This argument was accepted without any disagreement, continuing the long held stereotypes of women. Stereotypes of women were used as a justification for not allowing women to be placed in jobs that are normally dominated by men. These personal characteristics also seemed to be expected for all women. All women were perceived to fall under the umbrella of not wanting to take jobs that involved competitiveness, risky salary, and deterred from the normal working hours.
They note that while Black actresses were seen more in films in 1996, 89% of Black female movie characters were shown using vulgar profanity, whereas White women only did so 17% of the time. Likewise, Black female characters were shown being physically violent 56% of the time and White women only 11%. Entman and Rojecki note that, in 1996, over 70% of Black characters in the highest rated television shows held professional or managerial positions. Despite the fact that Black characters were getting more prestigious parts, this idealistic reversal of roles imposed a formal distance between Black and White actors, giving the audience a skewed view on their relationships. Blacks' supervisory roles isolated their characters from close peer relationships and among these actors, 92% of the interactions with Whites were restricted to job-related tasks, giving the audience no opportunity to connect with the Black characters.
Similarly, she discusses how many female directors were afraid to even attempt to direct a Wonder Woman film (149). Altogether, Howell argues many valid points along with examples of the gender bias in popular culture. With her focus on DC Comics and their failed attempts to market and produce a film for a character, such as Wonder Woman, was a solid representation of the gender bias that has and continues to exist in popular culture. Charlotte E. Howell argued many great points in her article, “Tricky” Connotations: Wonder Woman as DC’s Brand Disruptor.” Just as DC Comics had
In chapter three of The Hypersexulaity of Race: Performing Asian/ American Women on Screen and Scene, Celine Parreñas Shimizu explains the historical and performative impacts of stereotypical oriental femininity in Hollywood. She presents her argument by analyzing the movie stars, Anna May Wong, Nancy Kwan, and Lucy Liu. Importantly, Shimizu goes beyond simply pointing out the issue of stereotypical representations and delves into analyzing the roles and responsibilities of the viewers and performers within representation. To begin, Shimizu directly addresses how hyper-sexuality has been tied to Asian/ American women with countless examples from the acting careers of Wong, Kwan, and Liu. An example is The World of Suzie Wong (1960).
Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation successfully conveys the dangers that are associated with the demeaning methods the media uses to displace women from inspiring, valued positions and the effects of it on the American female population. The documentary explores the negative portrayal of women in the press and Hollywood, lack of female participation in major fields, and the side effects of the antifeminist movements on impressionable, young girls that have become highly visible through the media. The documentary reports of how even the most casual hints of misogyny distort the public’s values and expectations for women. The targeted audience is everyone because society can only right its wrongs by working and empowering together. However, Miss Representation does emphasize that young women in particular were the most important group of their intended audience.
Diversity in Hollywood In 2015, actress Viola Davis made history for being the first African American female to win an Emmy for “Best Actress in a Drama.” The Emmys is an award show that has been around for 67 years. She did not play the role of a slave or a jezebel, typical woman of color stereotypes, but a well-educated lawyer for the popular TV drama How to Get Away with Murder. In 2012-13, statistics have shown that ethnic minorities made up about 17 percent of actors with lead roles in films and television shows that portray them in a non-stereotypical way (Hunt and Roman).
“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.” This was one of the most memorable lines from Hillary Clinton’s concession speech to Donald Trump. The quote highlights the state of women in society today, as they are somehow still viewed as incapable of handling such a high position of leadership. But this problem goes beyond simply politics; it boils down to everyday circumstances of gender stereotyping and underrepresentation. With women being denied opportunities every day and young girls growing up believing they don’t have a place in society as a leader or anything more than a supporting character to a man, films and the media industry
In the movie “A League of Their Own”, one can see how the more sexist views of the culture in the 1940s and 50s in America was present in the Girls Professional Baseball League. “A League of Their Own” is a movie about what was once the “All-American Girls Professional Baseball League” which was formed when the young men were sent over to serve in World War II. One of the most obvious cultural views that this movie shows is the feminizing of the baseball players to make them “more acceptable and women like”. Unlike men’s uniforms, that include a full shirt and pants, they were to wear skirts that were very short, too short to play baseball in comfortably. This alone shows how this league was just as much about show as it was about the women’s talent.
If you eat, sleep, and breathe theatre the way I do you are anxiously awaiting the premiere of “Waitress”, a new musical by Jessie Nelson and Sara Bareilles. This musical is not only turning heads because of its fabulous Tony Award winning leading actress, Jessie Mueller, but also because it is the first Broadway show with an all-female creative team. Girl power, right? Yes, obviously, but it really got me thinking about why it’s taken so long for something like this to happen. After a little digging, I realized that gender inequality is way more prevalent in theatre than I originally expected.
Less than have10% of workers in Hollywood are females even though half of the United States have females. Not giving females the opportunity as the set of males showing sexism. Directors in the last few years in Hollywood cast few to none Hispanics for their films and television shows. That the directors show little to no interest to the ethnic group even though they
It’s a classic comparison. Ancient vs modern. Misogyny vs liberation through love. The Taming of The Shrew vs 10 Things I Hate About You. Are these films love stories about men liberating women, or are they exercises in misogyny?
Hollywood is the home of flashing cameras, the famous red carpet, and glamorous celebrities. Hollywood is also the birthplace of extraordinary films which reach audiences across the world. The casting choices made by the film industry affects more than just the movie that is created. Hollywood directors and writers should have the social responsibility to avoid stereotyping ethnic characters because the stereotypes offer poor (and often inaccurate) insight into the culture, negatively impacts child viewers, and limits the amount of quality roles for actors/actresses with diverse ethnic backgrounds.