Mind The Gap: Hollywood Despotism and Political Change
The gap between gender equality in Hollywood is well known and pretty much accepted, universally, as something worthy of change. However, while there is a lot of talk about the fact that it should change, there is scarce talk about how the change will take place. Let me be clear, I believe the entire paradigm of Hollywood needs an overhaul and, to be completely honest, if it doesn’t change soon, I see the Hollywood Industry falling into an unrecoverable state of disrepair.
Hollywood has been on a slippery slope for many years now, but with the increasing popularity of Crowdfunding, Video on Demand and cheaper and cheaper production costs, the idea of working with a major Hollywood studio is starting to dissipate with the newer generation of filmmakers. We live in a world of instant, on demand, workflows and user feedback. We live in a world where we can post something on YouTube and see it hit 5,000,000 views in an afternoon. This is the world where upcoming filmmakers are getting their audiences and are seeing the disparity between male and female filmmakers disappear.
It’s remarkable to me that the battle for gender equality is still raging on in Hollywood. I have written before how Hollywood once stood for social and economic change, being at the forefront of the highest political and socioeconomic battles and leading the way for change and growth, but the sad state of the industry is that we see these leaders, who lack faith in themselves and allow their principles to be dictated by preconceived notions of financial success, failing to take the bold steps that Hollywood once took, in order to encourage a change.
Yes, there is progress being made and yes there is a great deal of work already laid out, but there is also a great deal of work that still needs to be done.
This isn’t just about women or minorities or any one particular group, it is about the healthy change of an industry that we all know and want to be a part of. There is a huge amount of people who simply don’t understand that by remaining silent, they are helping to perpetuate the inequalities in the industry and are allowing future filmmakers to continue to suffer under the weight of the inequities of tyrants.
We need change on a massive scale. We need to stand up, with one voice, and demand equality for our mothers, sisters and daughters who want to be filmmakers. We need to stand up for the equal treatment of all people and we need to punish those who do not meet those demands of equality. Punishment, in this case, is by no longer supporting their traditionalist methods and by no longer buying what they are selling. Specifically, we need to let the major studios, producers, financiers and distributors that we want to see more opportunities for a diverse group of filmmakers with new stories and new perspectives and, if we do not get what we want, we will use the all-encompassing power of public acceptance to usher the tyrants out of power and bring in a new generation of leaders who actually understand what the industry needs.
The level of despotism in Hollywood is staggering, considering our nation despises tyrants and loathes monopolies. Thankfully, the “Hollywood Monopoly” has nearly vanished with the progress of technology and the internet, but we still see the same level of despotic dictators who rule the boardrooms and pitch meetings under iron fists.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that change is frightening and that it will take a lot of courage to take these perceived risks on women filmmakers, telling stories and showing images from a woman’s perspective, but there is a massive audience out there who are clamoring for the product. In the simplest of terms, one that any business can understand, the public has a giant demand for women filmmakers, is Hollywood “man” enough to supply it?