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Oscar-Winning Director Kathryn Bigelow Says “Change Is Essential” in Response to ACLU Concerns About Hollywood’s Gender Discrimination



There’s been a lot of attention on Hollywood’s pay gap lately, but that’s not the only problem the TV and film industry have when it comes to gender discrimination. The ACLU recently weighed in on the “civil rights violation” of their hiring practices, and now Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win the Academy Award for best director, has something to say.

Bigelow, who won the best director Oscar for The Hurt Locker and raked in awards and nominations for Zero Dark Thirty, told Time, “I have always firmly believed that every director should be judged solely by their work, and not by their work based on their gender.” Agreed, but oh boy. Prepare your facepalm gifs now for all the people who will jump on this and shout, “But they do judge directors based solely on their work, so it must just be that men are generally better at it and not at all an entrenched power system that favors men!”

I’m getting preemptively annoyed just thinking about it.


She continued, “Hollywood is supposedly a community of forward thinking and progressive people, yet this horrific situation for women directors persists. Gender discrimination stigmatizes our entire industry. Change is essential. Gender-neutral hiring is essential.” And she’s right that gender-neutral hiring is indeed a wonderful goal for our future utopian society, but it’s important to remember that, due to how the film industry—like most industries—is overwhelmingly favorable to men, hiring directors without considering gender at all still won’t achieve “gender-neutral.” Extra steps need to be taken to make sure women are getting hired.

According to Time, the ACLU has sent three letters to the federal government asking for an investigation into Hollywood’s gender discrimination. If all goes well, such an inquiry could result in rules that will help even the odds for everyone and move us closer to a day when gender-neutral hiring could actually exist.

(via THR, image via Everett Collection /

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