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Makers: Women in Hollywood: Home

MAKERS: Women in Hollywood


Marlo Thomas - That Girl


Marlo Thomas creates That Girl.
1968 Julia, starring Diahann Carroll, debuts on TV. It is the first show featuring a middle class African American character.
1980 9 to 5 was a huge box office success.
1991 Thelma & Louise offers new female archetype for women and inspires fans. Callie Khouri, the film’s writer, wins a Best Original Screenplay Oscar — a first for women screenwriters.
1997-2003 Buffy the Vampire Slayer woos fans.
1998 Sex and the City starts its six-year run on HBO.
2010 After 30 years of directing films, Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.


2012 Ava DuVernay is the first African American woman to win a Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award for Middle of Nowhere. Selma, was nominated in 2015 for Best Picture Award.
2012-2015 Girls, a show about women in their 20s created by and starring Lena Dunham, airs on HBO.




Ava Duvernay, Director of 2015 Academy Award nominated film Selma, is the first Black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe.


  • Women directors represent 50% of film school graduates, but only 6% of directors of the top grossing 250 films of 2013.


  • Women have made up only 23% of crew members on the 2,000 highest grossing films of the past 20 years.
  • Only 15% of major Hollywood releases employ a female lead and many still play into the “damsel in distress” stereotype.
  • Of the top 250 domestic grossing films, women wrote 10% of the movies, women comprised 2% of all special effects supervisors, and 15% of all executive producers. (Center for the Study for Women in TV & Film)
  • Of the top 100 films of 2013, females accounted for 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters, and 30% of all speaking characters. (Center for the Study for Women in TV & Film)
  • Females are almost four times as likely as males to be shown in sexy attire. (Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, facts are supported by research conducted by Stacy Smith, Ph.D. at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism)
  • Even among the top-grossing G-rated family films, girl characters are out numbered by boys three-to-one. That’s the same ratio that has existed since the end of World War II. (Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, facts are supported by research conducted by Stacy Smith, Ph.D. at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism)
  • 2013’s Forbes’ list of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors banked a collective $465 million, almost two and a half times more than what the top-paid actresses brought in.”


"Discussion Guide." WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD (2015): n. pag. PBS/WNET, 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

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