On Friday, far-left New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published a 7,000 word essay on sexism in the entertainment industry. In an interview with TheWrap, the award-wining writer slammed Hollywood as a “sick society—like the Catholic Church and Saudi Arabia.”
Dowd spoke with nearly 100 female actors, directors, writers, and producers for a feature in The New York Times Magazine about gender disparities in the entertainment industry.
In addition to speaking with women, Dowd also interviewed male entertainment executives for their take on the issue.
Dowd highlighted hiring discrimination in Hollywood, but also questioned the perception of male versus female directors.
“Male directors who act out are seen as moody, eccentric geniuses,” she wrote in the feature. “Women are dragons.”
Dowd told TheWrap on Friday, “The other two things I covered like this were Catholic Church and Saudi Arabia. Somewhere along the line I realized — wow, this incredibly liberal town full of men who say they’re feminists has been warped.”
“It’s a sick society,” she said. “Like the Catholic Church and Saudi Arabia. If you exclude the hearts and minds of women, you get warped. That’s what happened to Hollywood.”
In her NYT feature, she cited a statistic that in 2013 and 2014 only 1.9 percent of the directors of the 100 top-grossing films were women, and she concluded that women in the industry are treated as second-class citizens.
Hollywood is “like the last town on earth where the men are powerful and the women are beautiful,” she told TheWrap. “Hollywood is choking on all these outdated myths. Not just the one that 15-year-old boys are driving the market, but all the other myths — that women can’t handle a $100 million budget, that they can’t direct. They’re obsessed with superhero myths, but they have this other series of myths they can’t let go.”
“I really got kind of bewitched by talking to all these women and hearing their stories, watching them try and figure it out,” the writer said. “But that 1.9 [percent] thing tells you where it stands and yet it’s so ephemeral.”
Dowd argues in her feature that films such as Bridesmaids, Frozen, Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect 2, Mamma Mia, and Trainwreck prove that films directed by women can be successful.
She also writes that male executives are guilty of shrugging off the issue of gender inequality as “bogus.”