In 2017, the top three films of the 2017 box office all starred women. But behind the camera, things aren’t looking as promising.
This is a measly 1 percent higher than 2016, but is “virtually unchanged” from 1998. That’s two decades ago, and nothing has changed?
Taken from the annually released “Celluloid Ceiling” study from San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, the figures are based on the top 250 U.S. grossing films of the year.
Look, in one glance you can see not a lot has changed in 20 years for women behind the camera.
The number of female directors, including Greta Gerwig and Patty Jenkins, was one of the only upswings in the report, with women directing 11 percent of the top 250 films, up from 7 percent in 2016. But really, 11 percent? Let’s not celebrate too hard — it’s the same stat as the year 2000. “And here are the all-male nominees,” indeed.
Women fared best as producers in 2017’s top 250 films (25 percent — that’s still only a quarter, people), followed by executive producers (19 percent), editors (16 percent), writers (11 percent), directors (11 percent), and cinematographers (a measly 4 percent).
Writer roles aren’t looking great. Women accounted for 11 percent of writers working on the top 250 films of 2017. That’s a 2 percent decline from last year — and get this, 83 percent of the year’s top grossing films had no female writers. Not one.
Composers? No better. Women comprised 3 percent of composers working on the top films of 2017, no change from last year. And an unfathomably bad 98 percent of films had no female composers this year.
Sound team, surely? Nope. Women accounted for 8 percent of supervising sound editors on the top films this year, and 5 percent of sound designers. And 92 percent of films had no female supervising sound editors, while 96 percent had no female sound designers.
So yes, the biggest film in the country in 2017, The Last Jedi, was featured a female protagonist. Things looked great. But behind the camera? Hollywood has some serious work to do.
Rey, Belle, and Diana, albeit kickass, are just the beginning.