For Every Woman Working in the Film Industry, There are Five Men

Thanksgiving weekend is the start of big holiday movie season. Of the six biggest films coming out on the day before Thanksgiving this year, three center on female characters (Philomena, The Book Thief, and Disney’s Frozen) and the fourth (Black Nativity) has a very gender-balanced cast. Of the remaining two big movies coming out today, one has women in about 25 percent of its roles and the other is written by Sylvester Stallone

That’s actually a comparatively women-centric line-up for Thanksgiving weekend. This week, the folks at the New York Film Academy put together this interesting infographic about women in film that has me thinking about the how the way women are represented in film certainly stems in part from who is behind the scenes in the industry. 

Chart showing that women are 30 percent of speaking characters in films

chart showing that for every woman in the film industry, there are five men

Chart showing that women are paid less than men in the film industry

Read the full infographic and its sources at the New York Film Academy.

While women make lots of great films—women directed roughly half the films screened at Sundance this past year—they often have trouble getting their scripts to screen and are overlooked for Oscars. I wonder whether momentum at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to diversify (including hiring its third-ever woman as its president) will actually lead to more women being nominated for Oscars and higher pay for women in the film industry. 

by Sarah Mirk
View profile »

Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

1 Comment Has Been Posted

Hello, Where can I be

Where can I be directed to receive support on the nudity/sexual instrument depiction of women in movies and music videos? Most of the newly released movies include at least one scene where a woman is exposing her chest. The scene itself is majorly irrelevant to the movie such as in, "21 & and Over." Too many movies include the use of women solely for sexual purposes and features them partly naked. If the cinema industry requires for these nudity scenes, then men should be exposed the same way. I have been countered with the frequent scenes of men without shirts on, but then women can ONLY remove their shirts and stop there. Even if breasts are "more commercially appealing to the eye" as some claim, then male parts should be exposed more frequently to become "more commercially appealing to the eye" as well, or stop both gender exposures all together.

Add new comment