4.1 percent. That’s how many directors of the 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014 were women, according to a study by USC. A mere 4.1 percent. It’s a sad statistic for Hollywood, and on March 8—International Women’s Day—EPIX will premiere a series called The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem touching directly on this issue. Made up of six short films, the project brings together actors, including Anjelica Huston, Kristen Wiig, and James Franco; producers like Judd Apatow, and writers, directors, journalists and researchers to discuss the gender gap behind the camera.
The first short from the series screened during the Sundance Film Festival’s Women at Sundance Brunch—an annual event for women in the industry—on January 25. In a new video from Glamour, subjects share their completely honest thoughts on the issue.
“Is it really four percent?” says actress Toni Collette, shocked and dismayed.
“It shouldn’t seem like such a crazy thing if a woman is nominated for an Academy Award for directing,” adds Kristen Wiig.
“You don’t want to be considered a female filmmaker,” actress Lake Bell says. “You’re just a filmmaker.”
“Stop saying that there’s not enough qualified women,” says Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce.
The EPIX series is informed by the research of Stacy Smith, Ph.D., of the USC Annenberg Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative. Smith led the multi-year study that discovered the 4.1 percent statistic. Her research also analyzed 700 films between 2007 and 2014, discovering that only three percent of directors were women of color. And it gets only slightly better for other roles behind the camera. In the 100 top-grossing films of 2014, only 11% of writers were women and less than 20% of producers were female.
“The series offers an opportunity for a national audience to hear from the entertainment industry directly about the issues women face both as filmmakers and in other creative roles,” Smith says in an EPIX press release about the series. “My research is clear: females face a very real fiscal cliff as they pursue work at the highest echelons of this industry.”
Toni Collette sums up our hopes best in the short video: “The conversation is at a bit of a fever pitch, and there is a real chance for change.”
Here’s hoping. Watch the clip below to learn more:
The post Kristen Wiig And Other Stars Get Brutally Honest About Hollywood’s Gender Gap appeared first on SELF.