FEMINIST FRIDAY: Creative Industries & Initiatives Creating Space For More Women To Be Seen & Heard

Billboard, She Is The Music, Recording Academy, #WomenInTheMix music video still image | Billboard.com

Welcome to another Feminist Friday! That time of the week where we share 3 of our fave videos we can’t get enough of right now, centered around a feminist or common theme that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of equality and intersectionality.

This week our focus is on the creative arts and how they are tackling the deeply embedded sexist problems that have allowed to fester for far too long, hidden by the “liberal industries” tagline that music and film so often gets stuck with.

With the advent of the #metoo movement spawning initiatives like #TimesUp, we are thankfully starting to see important systemic changes that allow greater space for more women and minorities to be seen and heard, although we still have a long way to go.

The first video we’re featuring this week comes from the #TimesUp Foundation who have released a new video seeking to encourage more women to take up leadership roles behind the camera. This is important because many of these roles have the power to create change, or uphold the status quo. The ‘Shining A Light on Women in Production’ PSA also wants to specifically encourage minority and underrepresented women in these roles, in order to create better diversity in all aspects of the filmmaking process.

The campaign includes a 30-second PSA narrated by Ava DuVernay and a resources guide to help newcomers get started. According to Deadline.com, the idea for the PSA came from the Women’s Production Group, a self-organized community within Time’s Up founded and led by Dana Belcastro, head of physical production for Solstice Studios; Sara Fischer, head of production for Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company; and Debra Bergman, EVP Production at Paramount Television Studios.

“We’re so pleased to see the attention paid to the need for more women directors and cinematographers, but let’s be clear: when it comes to diversifying our sets, you have to also focus on the production roles on set,” Fischer said.

The campaign hopes that by “educating women everywhere about job opportunities in production,” it can “move the industry closer to gender and racial parity.” Watch the PSA below:

The second video this week seeks to do something similar to the #TimesUp initiative, but in the music industry. And the common thread is data from USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative study, data from which was used as the foundation for both campaigns. Billboard, The Recording Academy and She Is the Music, in conjunction with the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force have released a video as part of their #WomenInTheMix initiative, which promotes opportunities for female producers and engineers. When the initiative was launched a year ago, in February 2019, approximately 200 employers and creative decision-makers agreed to get onboard, but over the past year, there are now well over 650 employers who have joined, according to Billboard.com.

Focusing on the data point that in 2019, only 2% of popular music was produced by women, the clip physically represents the data through a 50-person, all-female ensemble choir featuring Loyola Marymount University singers. The group belts Alicia Keys‘ “Underdog” — at first all together, but over the course of the video, the women begin to slowly sit down to symbolize the percentage of male-produced songs. At the end, only a single woman — the 2% — is left to sing alone.

Artist and activist Brandi Carlisle sees the incredible value in campaigns like this, as evidence by the improvement in numbers since its launch.

“I know from personal experience that, to truly move the music industry forward, we need to make a clear effort to engage and empower women. Artists and studios should commit fully to initiatives such as Women in the Mix, which help ensure representation and gender diversity in all aspects of music making — from the stage to the studio,” she told Billboard.com.

Watch the video below, and stay tuned to see if even more women can be added to the mix by this time next year!

The final video this week is the trailer for the documentary ‘This Changes Everything‘, a film that underscores our theme this week, where representation is key.

“Told first-hand by some of Hollywood’s leading voices behind and in front of the camera, ‘This Changes Everything’ is a feature-length documentary that uncovers what is beneath one of the most confounding dilemmas in the entertainment industry – the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women. It takes an incisive look at the history, empirical evidence, and systemic forces that foster gender discrimination and thus reinforce disparity in our culture. Most importantly, the film seeks pathways and solutions from within and outside the industry, and around the world,” says the description.

Featuring Meryl Streep, Geena Davis, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Taraji P. Henson, Jessica Chastain and more, the film is available to watch on demand and on your favorite streaming service. Watch the trailer below:

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Sticking It To "The Man" With These Powerful New Viral Videos - GirlTalkHQ

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