Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke On Discovering Hollywood’s Gender Bias

"Why do we have such a narrow gaze, a white male gaze, particularly in Hollywood?"
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Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke spoke to The Guardian about her new film Miss You Already, and had some great things to say about women in Hollywood. The article mentions how Hardwicke is a huge fan of Orange Is the New Black, and having all kinds of women represented.

Well, it’s not better, it’s just been kept out of the film business because, as we know, only 4% of movies that are directed by women make it to the theatre.The male gaze is talked about a lot right now. Why do we have such a narrow gaze, a white male gaze, particularly in Hollywood? And how can we broaden that in cinema and TV? These stories should be told everywhere.

Surprisingly, Hardwicke did not move on to larger things after Twilight. She admits to not even wanting to do Red Riding Hood, but taking on the project anyway and getting paid less than she did before.

The scales were lifted from my eyes. I never believed there was any gender bias. How could I be that naive? I just thought, ‘I’ve got to work hard and be good and things will happen.’ I thought because my movies had some acclaim and made some money, I just needed to be even better. But Twilight made $400m. It launched a multi billion-dollar franchise. Why didn’t I get offered another movie after that?”

Look, while I don’t care for Twilight, Hardwicke proved herself as a profitable director and I seriously doubt you’d see that kind of treatment towards a male director directing a “manly” franchise. Despite the risk of being black-listed, she also speaks about the need to “make noise” to combat these issues.

Myself and other [female] directors used to think we didn’t have to talk about women’s issues: that it would be enough to just make films and be an example. That doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked. Now people are making noise, and pretty soon they won’t be able to ignore it. Why have Warner Brothers only had three female film directors in the past 10 years? I was one. But why only three? It’s ri-dic-u-lous. Whatever it takes, we need to get women and minorities in that space.

What do you think about Hardwicke’s interview?

(via Indiewire, Image via James Jeffrey on Flickr)

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