+

Hollywood has a white male filmmaker problem.

Just ask white male filmmaker Michael Moore.


Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images.

He played the numbers game to prove an important point about the people who make our movies.

And, as we all know, numbers are hard to argue with (because facts).

Across last year's top 100-performing films, just 1.9% were directed by women.

As The Hollywood Reporter noted, Moore threw out a sobering stat on Oct. 4, 2015, during a Q&A session at the New York Film Festival: A measly 1.9% of Hollywood's top-grossing movies were directed by women in 2014.

He got that (downright embarrassing) figure from a recent study by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, which annually examines diversity in Hollywood.

Chart via USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

"This is absolutely wrong," Moore said, noting he's benefited from a broken system that favors those who look like him. "This is the most liberal of all industries, when you use the word 'industry' in this country, and for it to be so shamelessly white and male?"

“I'm not saying that just because I'm a liberal making a politically-correct statement; I'm saying it as a filmgoer and audience member. I'm missing out on her story. Their stories. That person. When you block out whole groups of film by that cinema, what are the great films that you and I are missing because their great voices can't be heard? I want to go to that movie. I want to hear that voice. I'm being denied that voice by a system that's sent out to give the reins to white men."

The good news is, Moore isn't alone in demanding that Hollywood evolve to better reflect the society it portrays.

The industry's diversity gaps are making waves right now, with several Hollywood heavyweights chiming in.

But not everyone's two cents have been well-received.

Viola Davis by Mark Davis/Getty Images. Emma Watson by Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images. Matt Damon by Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images.

After becoming the first black woman to win an Emmy for best actress in a drama series last month,Viola Davis used the historic moment to point out the lack of opportunity women of color face in Hollywood. Emma Watsonspoke out against sexism in the industry just last week, pointing to her own career to prove change is needed. (Of the 19 films she's acted in, only two have been directed by women.)

And Matt Damon threw in his two cents, too — although interrupting a successful black female director to explain what she gets wrong about diversityprobably wasn't the best approach to the issue — and he's certainly caught a fair amount of the flak because of it.

With all of this chatter about Hollywood's white male problem, is anything getting better?

In short, yes — there are hopeful signs we're making progress on the diversity front.

That USC report I noted earlier? It points to "encouraging" signs that women are taking on (and finding success in) more influential roles in Hollywood — take, for instance, the slew of female-led flicks that have killed it at the box office this year.

The cast of "Mad Max: Fury Road," a film with a feminist storyline that featured women in prominent roles and dominated the box office earlier this year. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

And in May 2015, the ACLU called for an investigation into gender discrimination within the film industry, which may be looked into by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this month. Depending on how that investigation is handled, some serious shake-ups in the way Hollywood does business could be unfolding soon.

In the meantime, you can help push the industry forward.

Support projects by and starring women. Stay educated on the daunting realities that persist for women (as well as people of color and those who are LGBT) in the industry. And speak up when a loved one pulls a Matt Damon and says something about inclusion that just ... doesn't add up. Your voice — and the movie you choose to see in theaters this weekend — does make a difference.

All photos courtesy of Albertsons
True

Summer is officially over, which means we’re looking for any excuse to get together and watch a game or grill outside in the cooling temperatures.

The thing about hosting though is figuring out what to feed your guests—especially with rising prices all around. And frankly, everyone is sick of pizza.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less
Firmbee/Canva

Google's 2022 Year in Search report shows what trended this year.

There's a lot you can tell about a person by their search history (unless they're a murder-mystery writer, in which case no one should jump to conclusions). And our search habits on the whole can tell us a lot about ourselves as a collective as well.

For better or for worse, what we look up on the internet is an indicator of what we care about, and Google's Year in Search report gives us some insight into what we cared about this past year.

There are reports for different countries as well as a global report. Let's start with what my fellow Americans looked up, shall we?

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Monet Garner on Unsplash

To have and to hold…

Love stories can take many twists and turns. But for one couple, one such detour lasted more than 40 years. In 1972, Jeanne Gustavson met Steve Watts at the German club at Loyola University and was instantly attracted. Their love story should've continued from this day forward, but sadly it was cut short when Gustavason abruptly broke up with the man she loved.

Gustavason explained to CBS News that her mother did not approve of her interracial relationship and wasn't shy about expressing her disdain for the couple. This disapproval of the courtship is what led to the breakup. Eventually, Gustavason and Watts married and divorced other people, but they never forgot about the love that ended too soon.

You'd think after four decades apart and all the life lived in between that the pair would have fully moved on. But it seems that true love really doesn't die because Gustavason went looking for Watts in 2021, and she found him.

Keep ReadingShow less