It's the civil rights scandal of 2016: Not enough women earning $80 million directing top-grossing Hollywood movies.
But fortunately, we have the ACLU and the Obama administration on the case working hard to set this miscarriage of just aright–and ensure that at least 50 percent of the tab picker-uppers at Spago will bear the XX chromosome.
An attorney for the ACLU said Wednesday that federal officials are investigating whether gender discrimination exists in Hollywood, where statistics show less than 7 percent of top movies last year were directed by women.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs have responded to the ACLU's request for a look at Hollywood hiring practices with a "wide-ranging and well-resourced investigation" attorney Melissa Goodman said.
"We're very encouraged by how seriously the government has taken this," said Goodman, director of the LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU of Southern California. "Our hope is that they'll push industry leaders to address the ongoing violations of civil rights women directors in the industry have experienced and are experiencing."
See what I mean? It cries out to heaven that Batman v Superman was directed by…a man.
The hoped-for goal of this investigation seems to be to implement gender quotas for Hollywood directors, so that for every Coen brothers movie you'd take in, you'd have to watch one by the Coen sisters.
Last summer, the ACLU asked federal and state agencies to explore whether gender discrimination is responsible for the dearth of female directors in the entertainment industry. Men have vastly outnumbered women on both sides of the camera for decades. Statistics also show women directed about 14 percent of television shows last year.
The federal investigation has included meetings with directors and other stakeholders in the industry, Goodman said.
She hopes the effort will lead to charges against producers and others who fail to hire women directors.
Feminists have been beefing for years about the pressing problem:
Variety reports on a study out of San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. Researchers crunched the numbers to see how many of the industry's top 250 grossing films were directed by women, and found a measly 7 percent….
"Whatever is being done to address this problem is not working and we need to look for industry-wide solutions," said the study's author, Dr. Martha Lauzen. "Hell, you've practically got to be Angelina Jolie before they'll even start talking about letting you direct something…."
I myself am looking forward to the gender quotas: more Angelina Jolie and a Fifty Shades of Grey every year!