By Chloe Darnaud
The film industry has a big gender inequality issue around the world. A study from Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that in 2015-16, 79 per cent of films featured casts with more male than female characters. The problem is both on screen and behind the scenes, where most directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors are male.
The study also found that programs with at least one woman executive producer or creator featured higher percentages of female characters overall, more females as major characters, and more women writers and directors than programs with exclusively male executive producers or creators.
“95 per cent of the scripts I read the female role in it is just there to be a little bit of sexy eye candy”
Another study, conducted by Polygraph, revealed the lack of female characters even occurs in Disney films. Diney, who have in the past been accused of giving poor portrayals of women give voices to a majority of male characters.
For producer Camille Gatin, giving the most significant roles to women is crucial to fight for women equality in film. She says there is a true sexism issue in the industry.
“In 95 per cent of the scripts I read the female role in it is just there to be a little bit of sexy eye candy. She doesn’t really have any lines and she doesn’t really have a personality and she’s just really hot. That really doesn’t interest me,” she explains.
To fight for equal representation, she steers writers and directors towards rethinking their scripts and considering the role they give to female actors, trying to make them see things a bit differently.
“People like me have to make more films that give opportunities to women and I have to push writers to adapt their scripts. The reality is when I go to Los Angeles 80 per cent of producers I meet are men and the films they make work so why would they change?” she asks.
They wanted her to change Glenn Close’s character in her latest production The Girl With All The Gifts to a guy so that it would be more “castable” and more “bankable” and also wanted to make Gemma Arterton more “sexy”, she explains. She says the audience needs to make that effort to actually go and see those films. She doesn’t think we’re there yet, but with people like her working in the industry there certainly is hope.