Research #1: Maureen Dowd on Female Underrepresentation in Hollywood

My first piece of research is an editorial article titled, “The Women of Hollywood Speak Out” written by Maureen Dowd from the New York Times. In the article, Dowd interviews many successful women who work as directors, producers, and writers in the entertainment industry, as well as some men. Dowd explores why there is a lack of representation of females working behind the scenes of movies and television. She found that during 2013 and 2014, only 1.9 percent of directors for the top 100 grossing movies were women. This shocking percentage is also similar to many other fields of corporate America, such as Silicon Valley were women only make up 10.8 percent of executives.


This lack of women working behind the scenes in Hollywood has to do with foreign investors and markets. These foreign buyers want action movies with strong female leads, and they do not believe women can successfully direct this type of movie. However, there are plenty of movies directed by women, such as Fifty Shades of Grey and Pitch Perfect 2, which were extremely successful in the box office, but these movies are treated as anomalies.


Instead of creating more opportunities for women to tell their stories, Hollywood’s “Boys’ Club” shuts them down due to stereotypes. Many women are not offered jobs as directors and writers because men are too worried they will make movies sappy and emotional, as well as act on set as indecisive tyrants. These women believe they can chip away at the walls and boundaries in front of them, however they are going to have to hustle and work TWICE as hard.

I believe this source is legitimate because of her extensive research and personal interviews with the men and women cited in the article. She is so interested in this research, that she served to tell its story, and share the truth about sexism in Hollywood.

Dowd, Maureen. “The Women of Hollywood Speak Out”. The New York Times. 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 5 Feb. 2017.


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