Producer Ross Putnam has created a new Twitter account that reveals the myriad ways Hollywood screenwriters devalue female characters and, by extension, women.
The mastermind behind @femscriptintros, Putnam simply tweets introductions for female leads in the scripts he reads. The intros, which change the names of all characters to Jane, are just as hilarious and depressing as you’d expect. Some choice examples:
"A gorgeous woman, JANE, 23, is a little tipsy, dancing naked on her big bed, as adorable as she is sexy."
"Though drop-dead beautiful, JANE (40) has the appearance of someone whose confidence has been shaken. She is a raw, sexual force, impeded."
"Across from him, his wife, JANE. Also 40, still a knockout. The soft candlelight makes her beauty glow."
Not quite sure whether to laugh or cry, huh? But really, just how different are these introductions than what we actually see unfold onscreen? Only 11% of the top 250 grossing films of 2015 were written by women, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. And women accounted for 34% of major characters in the top 100 highest-earning films that year. We comprise half the population — a fact that’s all too easy to forget when you’re consuming popular entertainment, which is predominantly by and about men.
"Women are almost always, first and foremost, described based on their physical attractiveness," said Putnam in an interview with Jezebel.
This is a problem. And we propose that at least part of the solution involves hiring more female screenwriters, as well as expecting — and demanding — more of male ones.
Nearly a year ago, an anonymous actress stood up to Hollywood for sexist casting practices by creating Casting Call Woe, a Tumblr account that collects and shares especially demoralizing casting calls for women in Hollywood, as well as tweets and experiences from affronted actresses.
These first-hand accounts from those within the industry help expose Hollywood’s gender problems — and people are taking notice.