FEMINIST FRIDAY: Understanding Hollywood’s Discriminatory Hiring Practices In ‘Half The Picture


It’s Feminist Friday time again! This is the weekly series where we get to take a break from the norm, and end our werk week by sharing the awesome videos we are watching right now. We’re always on the lookout for new and badass videos to share with our community so if you want to submit something, head over to our contact page.

Our first video this week comes from the Movemeant Foundation, a San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to spreading the message about body love and body positivity. Founded by CEO Jenny Gaither, the organization seeks to empower women and girls by providing body-positive, self-confidence building tools, resources and experiences bringing it together with fitness and physical movement.

In recent years, body image issues have been increasingly pervasive among middle and high school students nationwide. Compounded by physical inactivity and obesity problems, Movemeant Foundation addresses these critical issues with curriculum in underserved public schools, landmark events in major US markets and digital resources.

Their latest campaign is called ‘Revolution’ and kicked off with a short video called ‘Own Your #BellyJelly’ that challenges the status quo and encourages women to be radically honest about their bodies. The video is part of the Movemeant Foundation’s effort to bring high impact, body-positivity curriculum to public schools throughout the country.

“There has never been a better time to shift the dialogue that women are having around their bodies,” says Jenny Gaither in a press release.

“The purpose of the video is to almost surprise people and show people that bodies of all shapes and sizes are capable and strong. And if we were to embrace our bodies and take ownership of them, we could really reveal the strength that lies underneath it all,” says Charina Lumley, chief operating officer of Movemeant Foundation.

The next few videos are part of a new forthcoming documentary about the ongoing investigation into the discriminatory hiring practices toward female directors in Hollywood. This topic is important to us that we had to share more than one video (we normally share 3 completely different videos in our Feminist Friday series).

In 2015 the ACLU launched the investigation after a director started seeing a pattern of being excluded from hiring opportunities along with a number of other women in Hollywood. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission got involved and have been interviewing a number of women, including some high profile and well-known names, to understand how this supposed forward-thinking, liberal, artistic industry can still be so sexist and patriarchal when it comes to hiring directors.

Appropriately titled ‘Half The Picture’ is directed by Amy Adrion, and was made possible due to a successful crowd-funding campaign on Seed&Spark (a badass platform owned and run by female filmmakers). They have released 6 exclusive clips from some of the interviews with Hollywood heavyweights.

Since these sneak peek videos are roughly 30 seconds each, we wanted to share 3 of them. Catherine Hardwicke talks about young girls seeing her in the first ‘Twilight’ DVD extras and for the first time ever realizing a woman could even BE a director. Lena Dunham says the sexism we are seeing right now seems to be exacerbated because it is the patriarchy making their last gasp and attempt at maintaining power, and Gina Prince-Bythewood who directed ‘Love & Basketball’ says every parent should get their girls to play sports because that is what helped her become a better leader and know how to deal with opposition.

You can be part of the ‘Half The Picture’ journey by donating to the campaign (which has raised enough money to be “green-lit”) or following them on Twitter for more updates.

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