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A new Guerilla Girls campaign, rolling out on social media, is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. (Instagram)

‘Still worse’

Guerilla Girls’ new protest art provides disturbing update on women’s status in Hollywood

By WITW Staff on February 7, 2019

Anonymous activist-artist collective Guerrilla Girls has revived a 20-year-old campaign about the lack of women directors in Hollywood to highlight the shocking degree to which the movie industry continues to be dominated and controlled by men.

In 1999, Guerrilla Girls peppered film festivals and billboards with a bumper sticker that read, “The U.S. Senate is more progressive than Hollywood,” accompanied by statistics that showed that just nine percent of senators and four percent of directors were female. Working in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego University, Guerrilla Girls has now begun releasing an updated version of the original campaign to social media.

“Hollywood is still worse,” reads the amended image, noting that 25 percent of senators are now women, while the number of women directors for top movies has remained stagnant at 4 percent.

“The intent of the campaign is to illustrate that 20 years later, the film industry continues to lag behind even our most staid political institutions,” said Dr. Martha Lauzen, the head of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. “The side-by-side comparison offers a way of conceptualizing how little Hollywood has changed over the last two decades.”

According to Lauzen’s recent ‘Celluloid Ceiling’ report, just one percent of the past year’s top 250 highest grossing films employed 10 or more women in off-camera roles. By comparison, 74 percent of said films employed 10 or more men in such positions.

Since its founding in 1985, Guerrilla Girls has become known for bold protest art that highlights misogyny and systemic sexism in the arts — including a famous “weenie tally” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that revealed that 76 percent of nudes on display were of women, while only four percent of artists with work displayed were female.

Read the full story at Variety.

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