Women take over Hollywood

For some years now, actresses have been venturing more broadly into different areas of the film industry. And they aren't doing it as actors in leading roles, but more powerfully as producers and directors. This is undoubtedly a topic to keep an eye on because there will be a lot to talk about it in the years ahead.

28 October 2021

Women to the fore. The women of Hollywood have taken the reins, following years where the center stage and positions of power were always held by men. Now, at last, the actresses have decided to forge their own paths. And how! 

  • Following the #MeToo or #TimesUp movements that uncovered cases of abuse in Hollywood, there have been demands for equal pay and better treatment from their male peers.
  • The calls have also come from fans, who are demanding more strong female lead characters, and more female directors and producers. So, many actresses having tired of waiting for an opportunity have decided to follow the wisdom of the refrain that “if you want something done, do it yourself,” and are striking out on their own.

Thanks to the women. Kate Winslet recently won the Best Actress in a Leading Role Emmy for her part in Mare of Easttown, a series that she financed herself. During the event she received a number of compliments. One of them, which could have come from any Winslet fan, was a shouted  “Thanks to Kate Winslet for being Kate Winslet”  coming from Evan Peters in the middle of his thank you speech. Peters was not the only one to thank her for his award, but he was the one who summed up in the fewest words what it means to work with the actress who is leaving her stamp on films about anonymous women.

Overwhelming success. Another example of women taking the reins is Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company, which was behind the success of Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere. The famed production company is now in the hands of former Disney executives. Undoubtedly these successes are validation of Witherspoon’s tremendous vision and foresight in founding Hello Sunshine five years before and supporting a series of projects to give primacy to women’s roles and to tell stories written by women themselves.

  • And she still owns 18% of the company.
  • This film entrepreneur has amassed a fortune that makes her both the richest actress in the world and the producer of new series and films starring women.
  • Witherspoon said, “I started this company to change the way women were being portrayed audio visually.”

What the statistics show. Only 16% of the top 100 movie productions in 2020 were led by a woman. In 2018 that figure was only 4%.

  • According to the latest Celluloid Ceiling study, 24% of 2020 films employed five to nine women, and 9% had 10 or more women on their payrolls. In contrast, 71% of last year’s films employed 10 or more men.
  • Despite this statistic, actresses today are venturing into directing their own films. Plus, more than a few of the women in the industry have also moved into producing their own films.