Seth MacFarlane took a lot of flak this week after his Oscar's hosting gig seemed to offend everyone from Jews and fans of Abraham Lincoln to the entire female gender.
But the "Family Guy" creator singing about female body parts during the most prestigious awards show of the year seemed to bring up a bigger issue in Hollywood, and specifically womens' role in the industry.
Here's where women currently stand in Hollywood:
- Academy voters are overwhelmingly male; 77 percent, according to the LA Times.
- In 2013, 30 men and 9 women won Academy Awards, by Vulture's Margaret Lyons' count.
- "Women have about 9 percent of the opportunities men do in the media industries,"Women in Film President Cathy Schulman tells Business Insider.
According to the study "Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2012" by Martha Lauzen, "In 2012, women comprised 18 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films."
If the figure doesn't seem low already, Lauzen reports "This represents no change from 2011 and an increase of one percentage point from 1998."
"A historical comparison of women’s employment on the top 250 films in 2012 and 1998 reveals that the percentages of women directors and editors have not changed,"Lauzen writes, "The percentages of women writers and producers have increased slightly. The percentages of women executive producers and cinematographers have declined."
Business Insider caught up with Cathy Schulman, the president of industry group Women in Film and a producer who won a best picture Oscar for “Crash" in 2004.
"Women in front of the camera and behind the camera need to band together to create more opportunity," Schulman told us at Women in Film's pre-Oscar cocktail party in Los Angeles.
"When we're able to do that, we will see a lot more films that are directed at and created by women. I think that will change the culture and history that we're keeping because the storytelling you do as a country is what you will be remembered for."
Schulman tells us that not only is her organization "working to make sure the numbers are out there so people can look at their own organizations and question the bizarre, hideous statistics," but there are a number of programs being implemented, as well, from educational programs to mentors to grants.
Schulman explains that a recent study by WIF / Sundance Institute revealed that the biggest obstacle for women in the industry is not what people think it is.
"The study discovered that even though many people will say there aren't as many women working in film is because they can't juggle home and career, that actually turned out to not even be on the list of obstacles."
The main issue on the list?
Men don't want to give women money.
"Financial networks are usually controlled by men so it's hard for women to get through," says Schulman.
Guber recently wrote an article "Why The Best 'Man' For A Job Is Often A 'Woman'" in which he discussed the success he has had with his female employees.
Here's how Guber's article starts:
In my experience, in the male-dominated entertainment world, women who I have hired, promoted or whose companies I’ve acquired including Stacey Snider, currently Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks, Amy Pascal currently Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures, Barrie Loeks, Co-Chairman Loews Theatre circuit and Cathy Schulman, Oscar winning producer of Crash and currently President of Mandalay Pictures, leveraged their female competitive advantage along with their unique talent and experiences to propel my enterprise and its goals.
Clearly, Guber believes women should be more entrenched in the business.
But since Schulman assumed the role as WIF president, she says she has seen a shift in the industry's landscape.
" We've broken the ceiling on only having to work on romantic comedies and children's movies, now we can be as rowdy as we want."
As Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook" Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee told us, we have to look forward to the day when it's exactly 50/50.
"I think that's what we have to look forward to, as we have to look forward to a female president of the United States," says Weaver.
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