Hollywood Studios Targeted by Feds in Gender Bias Investigation – The Daily Beast

Interesting to see how it turns out:

As much as powerful female voices in Hollywood like Patricia Arquette have helped bring national awareness to the industry’s alleged gender bias, Maria Giese, one of the women directors interviewed by the EOCC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], deserves credit for helping to spearhead the investigation.

Giese began working on the issue at the end of 2011, when she met with the Directors Guild of America.

“The DGA fought me so ferociously and were so hostile to the activist efforts I was making inside the guild to increase hiring of women directors,” she told The Daily Beast. “I realized there was a huge conflict of interest—here was a union run by a vast majority of male members pretending to have an interest in hiring mandates of women when they own the lion’s share of the pie.”

She first met with the ACLU in February 2013, and again in April and May, and explained why the issue was so significant and how they could possibly mitigate it, either by coming up with solutions to take legal actions themselves or by getting the EEOC involved.

She had previously met with the EEOC and said that they were more interested in a single woman filing a lawsuit with smoking gun evidence against a studio than in getting involved themselves. She now believes that government involvement is the only way to affect real change.

Very few women directors have been as vociferously critical of the industry as Giese, who admits she has essentially sacrificed her career in doing so.

“I knew I would risk getting blacklisted in an industry that is run on personal relationships,” she said. “But I hadn’t been able to get any work for a very long time and I felt I had nothing left to lose.”

 There are only a handful of women directors who have achieved enormous success in Hollywood, most notably Kathryn Bigelow. Giese said that roughly 4 percent of studio features are directed by women, and nearly 100 percent of those women are movie stars, pop stars, or relatives of movie moguls (Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Sofia Coppola, and Jodie Foster, to name a few).

“There’s no guarantees that this investigation will amount to any change, and that puts women directors and allies of women directors in a precarious position if they choose to speak out right now,” said another female director who asked to remain anonymous.

If the EEOC found evidence of widespread discrimination in Hollywood, they could potentially sue studios or seek to negotiate a solution that would increase their hiring of women in various roles.

Source: Hollywood Studios Targeted by Feds in Gender Bias Investigation – The Daily Beast

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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