The first and only woman to win a Best Director Oscar in the 87-year history of the Academy Awards has spoken out against the rampant sexism that plagues Hollywood.
Kathryn Bigelow released a statement to Time amidst news that the ACLU has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Comission (EOCC) to investigate whether Hollywood is violating Title VII by not hiring more women.
“I have always firmly believed that every director should be judged solely by their work, and not by their work based on their gender," said Bigelow. "Hollywood is supposedly a community of forward thinking and progressive people, yet this horrific situation for women directors persists. Gender discrimination stigmatizes our entire industry. Change is essential. Gender neutral hiring is essential.”
The timing of Bigelow’s statement is, of course, not at all coincidental. Her statement is making a statement — that she, arguably the most influential woman-director in Hollywood, is on board with the ACLU. As Bigelow articulates, gender discrimination has blighted Hollywood — and put female directors at a gross disadvantage — for far too long.
The ACLU, meanwhile, has released an infographic (see below) showing how hostile the current climate is for women directors — an important reminder of how far we are from achieving gender-neutral hiring.