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“Women directors aren’t working on an even playing field and aren’t getting a fair opportunity to succeed. Gender discrimination is illegal. And really Hollywood doesn’t get this free pass when it comes to civil rights and gender discrimination.” — Melissa Goodman of the ACLU of Southern California

With extraordinarily talented women like Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae and Mara Brock Akil finding continued success on both the big and small screens over the past few years, you’d think Hollywood was moving in the right direction towards accepting female directors as equals among their male counterparts, but the ACLU says it aint so.

In fact, the ACLU recently submitted a request to have federal and local level civil rights agencies look into why women directors don’t seem to be afforded the same opportunities to excel as their male peers, specifically with regard to the lack of hiring of more-than-qualified female directors. Both the ACLU of Southern Californian and the national ACLU Women’s Rights Project say they’ve discovered statistical evidence of “dramatic disparities” in the hiring of women as film and television directors.

“Many of these women directors have been told that they ‘can’t be trusted with money’ by studio executives,” says Ariela Migdal, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU. “This isn’t just about stereotypes and implicit bias, it’s about blatant discrimination. We heard over and over again from female directors that they’ve been told, ‘This show is too hard for women’ or ‘You can’t do this movie, it’s action’—this to women who have directed plenty of action.”

Filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom also pointed out the connection between the lack of opportunities for female producers to become successful in Hollywood and the way women are portrayed in the media, reports the Huffington Post. She believes the current portrayals of women in the media have led to fewer positions of power for qualified females working behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.

ACLU Women’s Rights Project senior attorney Ariela Migdal says the end goal in taking Hollywood to task for discriminating against female directors is a simple one:

“Our hope is that the involvement of the civil rights agencies and calling it what it is .a civil rights issue — will lead to concrete solutions.

Well, for one certainly agree that female directors are doing phenomenal things in and outside of Hollywood and deserve to be afforded additional opportunities for grown in light of their successful track records.

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  • I have no issue with what the ACLU is doing. We know that discrimination exists in the world. Yet, at the same time, we should develop more of our own movies, and our own independent power base that we own and control ourselves.

  • G

    I respect the ACLU, but I feel there are working class people who have a greater need.

    The entertainment industry is a crap shoot, nothing is guaranteed to anyone. There resources would be better spent in the community. Homelessness, poor medical care, unequal education standards, this should be their fight.

    • Thank you you took the words right out of my mouth this is nothing more than a political smoke screen to distract gullible blacks away from our real issues that they don’t want or don’t know how to solve so they have discovered the easiest thing to do is to divide us by gender keep us caught up in a phony gender fight while in the mean time “the ship is sinking”.

    • RaiseTheBar

      “…blacks away from our more pressing real issues…”

      “…while in the mean time ‘the ship is sinking’.”



      Herein lies our current challenge: NO longer are the majority of US just in a RACE war, but also in a CLASS war. Why else would the likes of a Creflo Dollar believe he is “justified” in getting his poverty-stricken parishioners to buy him a jet?

    • good points you are right, we already had a race problem however the wise wicket powers that be have skillfully manipulated us into a class and idiotic gender war purely for the benefit of a certain political class, and the sad thing about it is smart, seemingly intelligent but gullible people fall for it hook line and sinker every time, and by the time they wake up the wise wicket political class have another divisive trick, divisive phony issue with a catchy slogan waiting for us, and it go’s on and on. When you read these black blogs or any blog notice it, it’s like the Willie Lynch theory playing out right before you in 2015, you will find article about dark skin against light skin and on another blog control by the same group you will find a article about light skin against dark skin people then you will see a abrasive articles about black women have a problem with black men in a abrasive hatful tone and on another blog a article about black men got issue with black women and articles promoting strafe along the lines of sexual orientation and of course it’s always black against whites and vice versa but the most troubling one for me is something that is relative new started over the last 8 years and that is this unnatural, negative, abrasive, hatful, contemptuous disposition black women and black men openly show towards each other you will find no other race of people outwardly showing this towards each other. Peace sister.

    • RaiseTheBar

      ALL food for Thought!

      “…smart, seemingly intelligent …people fall for it hook line and sinker every time…”

      It is extremely challenging being in the WORLD and not be Of the World. The messages that swarm amongst “especially” US who are the descendants of American Slaves is that in order for One to survive / thrive, Others and Theirs have to suffer.

      It isn’t just US; I FEEL that Indigenous Americans/Native American Indians have 1st claim to the mistreatment in THEIR OWN COUNTRY. They don’t receive as much MEDIA/PRESS attention as WE do because there are more $$$s to be made from our internal strife.

      The Hatred BAIT perpetrated by the barrage of non-stop MEDIA is a MIND-field that is about $$$s and Little to NO common $ense.

      WHERE should WE begin. I say the best place to start is EACH one STOP with the inflammatory LANGUAGE — If I have a challenge with an INDIVIDUAL, I can state my Personal TRUTH without GENERALIZING — Seek a more Global TRUTH.

      It may seem that “ALL” based on Blogs we may visit or Polls that are taken. That just tells me that the EVOLVED Individuals I seek out are not bloggers or pollsters.

    • “I say the best place to start is EACH one STOP with the inflammatory LANGUAGE –” That is the key statement of the year cause black America must understand the power of words and the tone in which we use them and realize just because we have the right to do or say something we want to it might not be wise and in your best interest going forward in life to do or say it in other words we must learn to self regulate.

  • Delia

    I mean it’s just putting numbers to a phenomenon that we all know exists.

  • Me

    not that they don’t deserve to get fair pay too, but i always take issue w/arguing over folks who make way more money than me wanting someone to help them make even more money. that’s why i don’t get involved in any nba/nfl/mlb strikes, screenwriters strikes, etc. i’m too busy worrying about my thousands to fight for your millions. but good luck either way. let me know how it turns out.