"If Women Ran Hollywood" Video From Margaret Cho And Funny Or Die Nails Sexism In Film And Television
There's a lot of sexism in Hollywood, as is evident from facts like, say, women making up only 12 percent of movie protagonists. But a new Funny or Die video from Margaret Cho asks what would happen is women ran Hollywood? And it highlights the double standards that women face in modern media.
In the video we see an all-women group of television people discussing how to improve the show they're working on, The DUFF and the DILF, which naturally features an overweight female protagonist and a hot, buff male love interest. When only women are in charge, they naturally understand that you could never have a male lead who isn't pure eye candy. What would even be the point?
Basically, this is why we really need to have gender parity in Hollywood, and everywhere that mass media is created, because when only one gender is responsible for crafting media for everyone, it's easy for things to get skewed pretty fast. I'm not saying that men can't write complex, interesting, well-developed female characters, because obviously many have. But I will say that it's a lot easier for your film to give the proper attention to developing all your characters when you have multiple perspectives involved in the creation process.
So with that in mind, let's take a new look at just how ridiculous the current state of gender in Hollywood is with Margaret Cho's video from Funny or Die. The video is under four minutes long, but it manages to touch on so many industry tropes. For instance:
The Single Gender Writers' Room
In 2014, women made up only 10 percent of all film writers and about one third of television writers, meaning there are still plenty of all-male or majority-male writers' rooms out there trying to write female characters.
The "Diversity Hire"
No one thinks it's odd when somehow a writers' room is all or mostly men, or that it might be evidence of some sort of bias or nefarious hiring practices. But hire a woman and it's automatically a diversity hire.
Why talk about who your character is when you could just talk about how much you'd like to bang them?
The Hot Friend
These friends don't talk to one another, right? Or offer support or good conversation? No, they're just there for more eye candy? Good.
Wacky Hijinks As Character Development
Why try to develop who your character is as a person when instead you could come up with funny scenarios about an ill-fitting thong or blue balls or a greased pig or God knows what? Putting them in crazy situations or giving them weird hobbies is the same as character development, don't you know.
Rape as Character Development
Shout out, Game of Thrones.
I don't know if it's an actual Hollywood writers' room trope for women to be told to smile, but it seems to be a trend everywhere else in the world. Maybe we'd spend more time smiling if you spent more time giving us decent media representation, and thus not contributing to a culture in which we are other-ed and undervalued? Just a thought.