Lake Bell Doesn’t Think Being A Woman In Hollywood Is Hard
5:34 pm, May 21st | by Meredith Lepore
Well apparently Lake Bell didn’t read that USC Annenberg study on the state of women in Hollywood. Or if she did, she didn’t care because she hasn’t experienced it. Bell, previously an actress (What Happens in Vegas, Black Rock, How to Make It in America) and now a first-time director, writer and producer of In a World, doesn’t think being a woman has presented her with any barriers in Hollywood when it comes to being a female filmmaker.
She told BuzzFeed:
“I don’t find it in the practicality of my day-to-day; I don’t find it hard to make a film because I am a woman. I think if you have a movie to make, make it. If you happen to have a vagina, that’s okay. Still make it.
I feel horrible if I’m being trite about it and someone has had a bad experience, but me personally, I have not found that. I think the film community itself is incredibly inviting and supportive and embraces filmmakers, so get in there and make a movie. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; “Freebie” … cost $15,000. You don’t have to sit there and wait for permission from a studio. Go make a movie.”
I want to believe this, but it is interesting because we are constantly barraged by studies saying the opposite. As the great Nora Ephron once said, “a movie about a woman’s cure for cancer is less interesting than a movie about a man with a hangnail.”
Women made up only 16% 0f all directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2010. This was a 1% decrease from 1998, according to a study by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D and director of the Center of The Study Of Women In Television and Film. “It is my impression that women are still viewed as “riskier hires” and, as a result, are not considered for the big-budget, high-profile films and/or films in genres other than romantic comedy and romantic drama,” Lauzen said in an interview last year
But then again, a big part of the problem is that we constantly bring up the fact that it is different for women in Hollywood. Bell also said: “I think I’m eager for the moment to arise when the story is less ‘What does it feel like to be a female director?’ I hope the story soon becomes, ‘I either liked your movie or I didn’t, let’s talk about your movie.’ That’s the real goal. Because honestly I look around, and I see wonderful role models that are ladies. People who are writers and directors, people who are actors and directors, writer actors. There are a myriad of them and I look around to all sides and I see support and feel support, so I guess I have a more optimistic outlook on them.”
The great Marissa Mayer has always said it is that fact the she is “gender blind” that has helped her do so well in her career. She never thinks about the fact that she is the only woman in the room a lot of the time.
Meanwhile, Lauren Shuler Donner,told The Hollywood Reporter, “Women do run Hollywood. Are they the CEOs? No. But the ones who make the decisions are Emma and Amy and Hannah and Stacey and Donna. They certainly make a lot of the decisions. It will always be a male business, but I think this is a time when you look around and you can say women run the business — except at Paramount, Disney and Warners. The reason that I thought both Spider-Man and X-Men were as successful as they were was, not only did Laura [Ziskin] and I have wonderful directors in Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer, but we instinctively understood that the characters had to be grounded in emotion. No matter how much action there is, there needs to be heart, and it needs to be personal.”
Yes, Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to win the Oscar for Best Director but think of what Joel McHale said: “If women ran Hollywood, there would be hit romantic comedies about hunky male strippers, hugely successful film franchises about sparkly vampires and music and dancing competition shows would dominate the airwaves — wait, are we sure women don’t already run Hollywood?”