It's the 21st Century. Men and women are obviously treated equally when it comes to jobs in film and TV, right? Wrong. And I'm not just talking about on-screen roles either. An alarming new report has highlighted that there really aren't that many British female screenwriters compared to their male counterparts. In fact, research conducted by the Writers Guild Of Great Britain (WGGB), has revealed that women make up just one in six screenwriters, with one in ten feature films being written mainly by a woman (and one in 14 feature films in which the budget is greater than £10 million). As for the small screen, only 28 percent of television episodes are penned by female screenwriters.
What does all of this mean? Is there really a dearth of female screenwriters? Of course not. The issue of women being underrepresented in screenwriting has come up many times before this report.
Back in March, screenwriter Debbie Moonwrote a piece for the Guardian as part of an open letter to film and television commissioners. The document, which was signed by 70 fellow female screenwriters, called on TV and film bosses to give more writing opportunities to women. "Why are you not making dramas by female writers?" the letter asked. "The gap between being commissioned and being produced seems disproportionately large when it comes to women’s work. And we’d really love to know why."
President of the WGGB and writer behind the film Girl With A Pearl Earring, Olivia Hetreed, has also called on commissioners to give better opportunities to women. "This new research," she told the BBC, "shows that the number of women writing films has flat-lined at abjectly low levels." The industry needs to wake up to the bold, inventive and trailblazing work female screenwriters are doing. The list below of some the best British female screenwriters really proves women are obviously just as capable as men at writing fantastic films and TV shows. So let's please put an end to this discrimination.