Epix announced that on March 8 (International Women’s Day), they’ll begin airing “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem,” a six-part docu-series that comprises separate short films; the first installment debuted yesterday at Sundance.
As Hollywood has been coming under fire more than ever for its deeply entrenched racial and gender biases, it seems the perfect time — both from social perspective and a business perspective — for a TV network to air a topical industry-critiquing series like this.
The number in the title speaks for itself: it represents the percentage of woman directors who made the top-grossing films between 2002 and 2014. The film takes its cues from research done by Dr. Stacy L. Smith at USC, and was produced by Alex Gibney’s production company. (Gibney recent received wide acclaim for his Going Clear documentary.) The CEO of Epix, Mark S. Greenberg, said in a statement:
Epix has supported Stacy’s research for years and these shorts offer a richer, more authentic portrayal about the role of women and girls in media today. Support for this project has also brought together the talented Alex Gibney, and a prestigious list of some of the most gifted artists and creatives from the worlds of entertainment and the arts. Our objective is to help provide a forum for the discussion of ideas and potential solutions, as we collectively work towards closing the gap that exists today.
Smith herself said:
The series offers an opportunity for a national audience to hear from the entertainment industry directly about the issues women face both as filmmakers and in other creative roles. My research is clear: females face a very real fiscal cliff as they pursue work at the highest echelons of this industry. I am proud that my research is associated with a team and a network that cares about female filmmakers and creating systemic change.
This seems to present women in the industry with a chance to assert, in a way that isn’t distorted through the media, their thoughts on both the pay gap and the general lack of employment of female directors. Participants in the series include Kristen Wiig, Mira Nair, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Lake Bell, Patricia Clarkson, Anjelica Huston, America Ferrera, Mo’Nique, Michael Mann, Michael Moore, Paul Feig, Catherine Hardwicke, Judd Apatow, and so many more.
[Via The Hollywood Reporter]