This Open Letter To Hollywood Calls For More Female Representation In The Industry

It's no shock that women are underrepresented in Hollywood — ranging from fewer female directors to leading roles in the big blockbuster films.

But the stats presented here in an ad paid for by the Representation Project, which ran in the Los Angeles Times, still might surprise you.

According to the posting labeled "A Letter to Hollywood Executives," even though women comprise 52 percent of the nation's moviegoers, there are very few female protagonists — an estimated 15 percent in the top-grossing films of last year.

And when they are featured in big movies, women are more often than not used just as props for something pretty to look at, with only 30 percent of those with roles even speaking.

The Representation Project letter urges the industry to move forwards with hiring more females and creating more meaningful roles for them, but even that's looking bleak.

Only 6 percent of directors and 10 percent of writers in Hollywood's big films of 2013 were women, a stat that's even lower than it was in 1998 (which was totally not the best year for women, what with the Bill Clinton sex scandal/impeachment debacle).

Dear Jim Gianopulos (20th Century Fox), Gary Barber (MGM), Brad Grey (Paramount), Michael Lynton & Amy Pascal (Sony Pictures), Donna Langley (Universal Pictures), Alan Horn (Walt Disney Studios), and Kevin Tsujihara (Warner Brothers),

Women and girls comprise 52% of moviegoers and 50% of all ticket buyers in the United States. They are also half of the entire world’s population.

But women were just 15% of protagonists in the top films of last year and only 30% of characters who spoke. Women of color were even less.*

Additionally, women were just 6% of directors and only 10% of writers in 2013′s top films — lower numbers than in 1998.**

Your movies shape our world and inform our dreams – including the dreams of our daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, partners, friends, and colleagues.

Together we have the opportunity to transform culture.

It’s time to do the right thing.

Will you, as leaders, join us, and pledge to make change a priority?


Jennifer Siebel Newsom CEO/Founder The Representation Project

Imran Siddiquee Director of Communications The Representation Project

P.S. – A copy of Miss Representation is on its way to you. We’re here to help.

H/T: Upworthy, Top Photo Courtesy: Facebook