By Rossana Naveda
The discussion about percentages of representation from different groups in movies has been a hot topic in the last year. Personally, I honestly believe this crusade is not against white people, that is crazy. The only thing actors, writers, directors, publicists and individuals involved in media is trying to stimulate a variety of characters and characteristics in films representation of reality.
Although some people would say what you are trying to sell is fantasy. That is true, but I think reality does not mean close our eyes toward the same cliches. I know Latin women are sexy, Black people can dance but we need to see more, and you would not find a variety of ideas and representation when your mind is full of this kind of information. Becoming more interested in what is happening in other countries and the differences will give a deeper understanding of better ways to communicate the interaction between different social groups on the big screen.
As a woman, I know it is a particular difference, which lets me be in the same position of every female experience. For women, the social issues are not so different while you are crossing borders: domestic violence, less payment, their interests ignored in Politics, or male candidates decide to affect the decision making of women about their reproductive lives. In consequence, it was not a surprise the information I have found about the percentage of women working in media, where it is possible to say we develop and represent the structure of culture.
If you do not find many women creating roles, which explore who they are, this is not a way to perpetuate them as invisible. I know all men would say they are on the screen, but it is almost impossible to find people telling their stories, which nobody could say they are not attractive. Some audiovisual products had been dominating the market. However, it is only possible to find less than ten. Meanwhile, we keep exploring the male vision of the world in our laptops, cinema and tv set.
There is always a way
I remember my first class of audiovisual and media for children. I was nine; there were probably fifteen or twenty boys and girls in that course. Next year we were probably 10, and there were only four girls. My parents did not let me travel with my class for protection, and that was how the hobby ended, a painful period, but I need to find other activities at high school. However, it did not stop altogether, because I studied Journalism, however, it is possible this type of situation happened to all the girls, I do not believe they are not interested in pursuing this job with the same passion or commitment than men. It is just you could find more men, and usually, they could find more support to keep going with this kind of creativity process of writing, filming, among other things.
I believe that eighteen women were directing films in the last four years for major studios is a weak number. Especially, when there are not excuses like women cannot do it quite well. The name of the majority of members belongs to recognized and talented artists. In consequence, I think it is the time of opening of perception about what an Artist could make beyond her or his ethnicity, gender, age, among other superfluous representations of characteristics, which decrease the opportunity to appreciate more stories, voices or vision from different groups.
For giving you the chance to explore this situation, it is only necessary to compare the percentage of films directed by females from major studios, for example, Warner Bros. (2.9%); Universal Pictures (2.6%). Meanwhile, Walt Disney Pictures, “a little bit better” (7.4%), Sony Pictures (5.2%), 20th Century Fox (6.6%) and Paramount (4.8%). When we read this numbers, we only consider it like a bad joke, especially when women usually belong to the group spending more money on this type of entertainment. Furthermore, when they are more than 50% of global population. It is like what we see in our world does not matter, and it is a total error.
If you want to see more information, keep reading this…
Perhaps, studio managers should understand the type of social misconstruction they are creating towards female roles and representation of different groups. I think we should comprehend this is not one group against others. It is just the desire to stop the misconstruction of narratives, where female cannot explore and show their vision of the world, as well as, other groups.
Talent is not hidden, biggest companies are just ignoring it. Perhaps, when we think about making tools, tables, doors, among other commodities, we could not perceive big differences from their creation. However, when societies to speak of the construction of identities, we keep letting women as invisible beings in societies, even when they had needed them since Lucy, the first fossil of Australopithecus afarensis walked making us rethink about our origins.