They’re having a nice day and their male buddies are landing jobs

The Guardian asked readers to share their experiences of sex discrimination in film making.

Conscious and unconscious bias is alive and well in our business. And much is to do with how “talent” is evaluated. Because of the belief in the auteur, a conceptthat has infected the film space but particularly public funding, women have been at a disadvantage – auteurs are generally men and if you can’t see it, not only can’t you be it, but no one will let you be it either. The way women’s work is assessed and their talent rated doesn’t cut it, because they’re being measured against a male paradigm.
Mia Bays, film producer, 44

Of course – because only men are complicated and interesting enough to be auteurs. Only men are clever enough and thoughtful enough and original enough. Only men contain multitudes. Women are simple, one-dimensional, conformist, dull creatures – nurturing, friendly, but not auteur-like.

There are lots of talented women out there who simply aren’t being given the chance to make work and become role models – and the UK industry as a whole rarely seems to get excited about women who do break through. I have had people walk away from me mid conversation at film events when I told them I, a woman, was making a feature length film and even though my film has been successful I can’t even get on the next rung of the ladder. I have many female friends who left for the US, and are making films with US money and backing as they never had any interest here, which shouldn’t have to happen.
Amy Mathieson, director/producer, 30

And then there’s the boys’ club mentality.

Sadly, the results of the recent study are not surprising, and the problem of gender-bias does not exist only in our industry. It is a part of a larger problem – a systemic, ingrained and institutionalized one. I am not able to explain the lack of female writer and directors concisely, but will offer that the continued comfort level and ‘boys club’ mentality is one that is rewarded time and again by executives, audiences and finance entities – so what is the motivation to change? When one can point to a successful outing by a female writer or director, it is largely ignored.
Jenna Ricker, writer and director, 40

Is it unconscious bias, or indifference?

My charitable explanation for this epidemic is that an unconscious bias may be taking place with those in power. My less charitable explanation is that those in power are fully aware of the sexism, but don’t feel like addressing it because they’re having a nice day and their male buddies are landing jobs – so ‘who cares?’
Caitlin McCarthy, screenwriter

There’s more.

Comments are closed.