Gender Discrimination in Hollywood

I just read an article by the New York Times that was written about the ACLUs letters asking the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for investigations on the film industry, specifically gender bias in the hiring process. This article really excites me because of the necessity of serious attention on the major Hollywood studios. The article states that “should the agencies agree to investigate and then find bias, they might take actions that could include filing legal charges”, meaning that more action could be taken (and hopefully does), but it is not clear what will happen. As for now, the lots of people are asking questions and putting pressure on Hollywood, which is the start of a movement to stop sexism and gender bias for good.

In the past, the government has investigated and charges have been made against the studios, but with no success. One of these events was in 1978, when the California Advisory Comittee investigated hiring practices that discriminated against ‘racial minorities and women’ in not only directing but all positions. The study had a major focus on the ‘racial minorities’ aspect of the investigation and not on the ‘women’ part, and even in that case ‘racial minority’ directors do not have proper representation in the film industry today. The year following, the DGA Women’s Steering Comittee filed a lawsuit against Warner Brothers and Columbia Studios on the violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that discrimination based on race, religion, sex, etc. is illegal. They lost the case. Although these cases do present failure in the past, it can only create more hope that the United States in a new century will be different.


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