Sexism Is "Still Not Getting Better," But Here's Why Paul Feig Won't Stop Making Movies With Hollywood's Funniest Women
Bridesmaids director Paul Feig has spent a lot of time with some of Hollywood's funniest women, and he thinks the film industry needs to include more of them. Just before The Heat hit theaters in 2013, Feig told Huffington Post that despite Bridesmaids' "global success," Hollywood sexism hasn't disappeared. "There's definitely an openness, but this summer we're the only studio release with women in the lead roles. We're not advancing as much as we should be," he said. Feig spoke with Huffington Post again at the SXSW Film Festival last Saturday and unfortunately, he says the film industry has seen little progress. "I don't think it is getting better," he said. "It's not as terrible as it was, but look at the number lady directors[...]The studios aren't giving them the opportunity for whatever reason, and the roles still aren't there for women like they should be[...]There are so many funny women out there and they need these roles. I hate that. I hate that there isn't more opportunity."
Feig's vaguely uncomfortable use of the term "lady directors" and "lady problems" aside, he also tells Huffington Postthat he's trying to change the industry by creating more opportunities for women with more substance, complexity, and comedy than, say, the typical romantic comedy. "I love the theme of female friendship. I've seen it with my wife, and how important and difficult it is. So I enjoy that. To me, that's more interesting than trying to work out a relationship with a man. There are plenty of those movies being made, so I don't have any interest in doing them."
Feig's new movie Spy starring Melissa McCarthy could easily be as financially successful as its predecessors The Heat and Bridesmaids, but the recent backlash against the new woman-led Ghostbusters,also directed by Feig,is disheartening. Still Feig said he won't stop making movies featuring hilarious women anytime soon because, frankly, he finds them more interesting and relatable. "Look, guys are very funny. For example, I'd love to work with Will Ferrell -- he's one of the funniest guys on the planet -- but it would need to have a sensibility that wasn't so, "Let's go get fucking laid!" I can't relate to that."
Image: 20th Century FOX/YouTube