HOLLYWOOD—The advocacy group American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California is calling for a government investigation regarding hiring discrimination against female directors in Hollywood.
On Tuesday, May 12, the ACLU posted a press release to their website announcing that they were sending letters to three state and federal organizations, urging them to investigate Hollywood studio and talent agencies’ hiring practices; these organizations are the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
In the letters, the ACLU cited statistical evidence that there was a bias against female directors, including a 2014 study conducted at UC San Diego that found that women made up 7 percent of directors of the year’s top-grossing 250 films. They also cited research done at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism – looking at 1,300 films released over the course of the past 12 years, where the study revealed a gender ratio of 23.3 male directors to every 1 female director.
According to the Los Angeles Times, representatives from all three government agencies have confirmed receiving the ACLU’s requests and will review them. The ACLU is hoping that the agencies will figure out which studios have the worst track record of discriminating against women and take action to correct this.