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Where are women in Hollywood?

January 4, 2010

Don’t miss WMC Radio this morning with WMC Advisory Council member and guest co-host Melissa Silverstein of Women & Hollywood. Our three notable guests are playwright Theresa Rebeck, TV writer and director Nell Scovell, and feature writer and director Katherine Dieckmann. The program airs from 10-11amET on 99.5 FM in New York and streams live at Afterwards it will be available on iTunes and on the WMC site for download. universal-studios-hollywood

We will examine how women fared in the entertainment industry in 2009 and what to look forward to in 2010, with a special focus on how to shift the conversation about parity issues in Hollywood (and other areas of pop culture) beyond the where are the women to trying to come up with solutions.

Here’s an overview, courtesy of Women & Hollywood:

Women as consumers are evident in all areas of the arts.  We buy 50% of the movie tickets, over 50% of the theatre tickets, the majority of books and are a desired TV audience.  Yet, there is still a great disconnect between the audiences and the work.  Statistics show that women creatives are underrepresented in all areas of theatre, film, and TV.

And the biggest problem is the numbers are not improving.

Women remain at 25% representation in TV, under 10% of directors, 10% of film writers, 31% of theatre creatives jobs (and that includes actors.)

For the last decade (if not longer) the conversation has been about asking the question where are the women?  The time has come to shift the conversation from continuing to lament the problem to finding solutions.


Melissa Silverstein is a media consultant and writer who specializes in the area of women issues, with an emphasis on women and Hollywood. She blogs from a feminist perspective at Women & Hollywood, which was recently named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch.” Over the last several years, Melissa has consulted on wide array of projects ranging from online marketing for films and books targeted at women, to web site development, to event and film production.

Theresa Rebeck is one of the most accomplished playwrights in America today.  Her newest work The Understudy is currently playing in NYC through January 17th.  She is also a novelist.  Her first book Three Sisters and Their Brother is now available in paperback and her newest novel Twelve Rooms with a View will be published in May by Random House.  She is also writing a pilot for USA TV.

Katherine Dieckmann
has written and directed three feature films most recentlyMotherhood starring Uma Thurman.  She was also a journalist and a director of music videos.  She currently is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts, where she teach screenwriting.  She also directed music videos for R.E.M., Aimee Mann, Wilco, and Everything but
the Girl, among others.

Nell Scovell is a TV writer and director who created the show Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  She caused a bit of a stir with a recent piece on Vanity Fair’s website about her experience as a female writer on Late Night with David Letterman.