Posted by: Joe Eds | August 24, 2009

It’s a (White) Man’s World

In film that is. According to an article in the NY Times by Michael Cieply, 93% of films released, or will be, in 2009 by a major studio (Disney, Warner Bros., Universal) are directed by a white man, and on average be about 45 years old.

A few of the exceptions this year are Justin Lin (Fast & Furious), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body in September) and Betty Thomas (Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 due on Christmas Day).

I take a small issue with the math in this article. A) Cieply does not include independent studio movies, from, say, Sony Pictures Classic or Focus Features. This week’s release Taking Woodstock, directed by Ang Lee, is not considered under his formula.  B) He only includes films released this year and most directors rarely have a movie out every year, more likely every two to three years. Non-white filmmakers like Spike Lee, John Singleton, M. Night Shyamalan and Alfonso Cuaron have high-profile films in the works for next year.

However the overall point is on the money. Mainstream films are directed through the lens of mostly white, middle-aged men.  And that likely limits the diversity we see (and don’t see) on the silver screen.


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