Guest Blogger – Alex Hutcherson
Alexander Hutcherson is a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri in the Mass Communication department. He completed his undergraduate work May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Production with an emphasis in Film. His dream job is to work as a content creator at Blizzard Entertainment in their marketing department and then hopes to one day complete his Ph.D. and become a college professor.
Gender Inequality in Film
Despite the success of several female actresses there is a large difference in equality between men and women in the film industry. In a 2014 study by the New York Film Academy it was found that only thirty percent of speaking characters are women while nearly twenty percent more women are shown wearing sexually revealing clothes or partially naked on screen when compared to men (NYFA, 2014). New York Film Academy found that there is an even larger difference when looking at the ratio of men to women working on the film (as crew, writers, producers, directors) at a five to one ratio (NYFA, 2014). In 2013, the top ten highest paid actresses made less than half of what the top ten highest paid actors made (NYFA, 2014). The average age of an actor is forty-six while the average age of a female actress is thirty-four (NYFA, 2014).
image credit: https://www.nyfa.edu/
While these statistics are a few years old, there is no doubt that there is a gender bias in the film industry. Hollywood began as a straight, white, male dominated industry and it has remained that way since. Not only are women underrepresented in film they are also sexualized. Women cannot be as old and must be more willing to show nudity on screen than men. Under-representation is only part of the story with the pay difference be enormous. Emma Stone, the highest paid actress for 2017, played a lead role in the successful 2016 film La La Land.
Unfortunately the highest paid actor of 2017, Mark Wahlberg, has made triple what Emma Stone made this year. The difference in pay is absurd and the stereotyping of women in film should be a thing of the past. Furthermore, when considering the awards that females are nominated for it becomes even more apparent that there is a gender bias. From 1975 to 2014 four female directors have been nominated (NYFA, 2014). It is mind blowing to think that after forty years of academy awards only four nominations for director were female. Considering all the advances the United States has made towards equality one would think there would be less of an inequality in film.
image credit: http://www.imdb.com/
There is still hope. Wonder Woman was released earlier this summer on June 2, 2017. With a leading female role played by Gal Gadot Wonder Woman earned an enormous $800,000,000 worldwide. If films with a lead female role such as Wonder Woman and La La Land continue to see success then hopefully the gender gap will shrink. Unfortunately it is unlikely to happen quickly and even if there are more leading female roles in the near future women face overwhelming stereotypes. The amount of nudity, age, and income difference between men and women are all stereotypes that must change before women will be considered equals within film. This is a strong parallel for reality. Women in America are still underrepresented. They face the same problems that actress face. Hopefully the world changes for the better sooner rather than later.