In an essay published Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter president and chief creative officer Janice Min wrote that THR would be getting rid of its annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 list. “THR’s Power 100 list, by its nature, pits the town’s most impressive females against one another,” she wrote. “We accidentally created a beauty pageant of brains where only one woman gets crowned.”
On the heels of Variety’s equal pay issue, which featured an interview with Sandra Bullock about getting mistreated on set (and also includes some pretty odd choices in artwork), Min’s announcement is not such a minor thing—although the list purported to support and promote Hollywood’s most successful women, it also drove them nuts. The ranking, which was created in 1992, has veered from its ostensibly noble purpose. “Today, in legend and reality,” Min writes, “women fight for position on these lists in ways that don’t always make them, or us, comfortable.”
I’m a female editor covering an industry that, in terms of gender, remains persistently stuck, not unlike the frozen-in-amber faces one sees strolling Rodeo Drive. It’s like white noise at this point, all those facts that bubble up with the same redundancy as the remakes and franchise sequels Hollywood now loves.
[T]he acceptance of women as “lesser” in Hollywood is so commonplace, it’s as if we’ve grown comfortable living with our own ugly furniture. We don’t even know it looks bad.
Min lists some depressingly familiar statements to underline that things are very, very bad for women in Hollywood: The executive suites at film studios are less than 24 percent female, only 2 percent of 2014’s top 100 films were directed by women, Jennifer Lawrence gets paid less than her male counterparts, the list goes on. Pitting these women against each other didn’t appear to help things along. Last year, the New York Times referred to the list as a “blood sport.”
Both The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard are tossing their female-only lists, to be replaced with a single annual Power 100 (THR) and Power 50 (Billboard). According to Min, “There still will be designations for executive woman of the year at both titles and other marks of distinction to be revealed.”
Contact the author at email@example.com.
Image via The Hollywood Reporter.