Did you know that only 93 percent of films released by major studios last year were directed by men? And that only 70 percent of speaking roles in films are given to men? It’s a real tragedy, and finally, women are banding together to do something about it. This is powerful stuff.
The trio behind The Make It Fair Project, actress Patricia Noonan and writer/comedians Emily Tarver and Nadia Quinn, rely on stats compiled by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that paint a disturbing portrait of a Hollywood (and America) that today, in 2015, is still not entirely run by men. (Full disclosure: Tarver was a cast member on VH1’s Best Week Ever at the same time that I was writing for the show.) To make their point, the three women assembled some pretty recognizable faces—the cast includes Lilli Cooper, Amanda Seales, Jessica Hecht, and Rita Wilson, in addition to Tarver, Quinn, and Noonan—and even enlisted Tarver and Quinn’s expertise as songwriters to put together a stirring musical number. If this can’t get through to people indifferent to the plight of men, then what can?
Noonan tells Jezebel that the project itself was a microcosm of the problem facing men in Hollywood. “We started writing #makeitfair in a four hour brainstorming session in Nadia’s living room and came up with a plan to get as many women involved as possible.” Adds Quinn, “Men SHOULD have it all! It makes total sense based on the true facts and information... you know? We’re almost there! 100% for men or bust, as far as I’m concerned!”
Tarver notes that in the future, the project may assemble a database of women who work in TV and film (probably so people know not to hire them, since men need those jobs).
Women who aren’t working in entertainment can contribute to The Make it Fair Project’s mission if you simply “Apologize for your ideas, talent, and ambition. Hang back. Don’t raise your hand, write that screenplay, or ask for that promotion. Don’t tell your stories or run for office. Oh! And don’t support each other,” explains Noonan.
Tragically, for a project that ostensibly promises to promote men in showbiz, Tarver, Noonan, and Quinn were unable to find a single man to work on the video. That’s right — every single person who worked on this, from the sound crew to the on camera talent is a woman. “All women. Over 70 women!” Tarver tells Jezebel, shamelessly.
Hopefully, in the future, the women behind #MakeItFair will learn how to be better allies.