Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is, Director Paul Feig Will Include “Equity Clause” In All Future Films

paul-feig

We already hard a hardcore crush on director Paul Feig, who is responsible for unleashing the most hilarious comedies on the world such as ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘The Heat’, ‘Spy’, and the forthcoming all-female reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’, coincidentally which also stars his go-to female star Melissa McCarthy who is in every one of the aforementioned films.

Aside from being a champion for female-driven comedies, some of which have become huge international box office hits (therefore silencing those “women aren’t funny” comments), he has been quite outspoken about the need to see more female directors in Hollywood.

He went as far as saying he feels “guilty” about all the opportunities he gets as a straight, white, male in an industry that most definitely favors his kind on every level. But in an exciting announcement, he has proved to the industry as well as to audiences what can happen when a person in a position of great power in an industry that is lacking crucial change, decides to use that position to make said change.

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In an industry event discussing gender bias in Hollywood, Paul told the Associated Press that he will include an equity clause in all his future films to ensure more diversity in minor roles. He said it is decisions like this that are going to move the industry forward.

“I think we need to set these things in stone so it forces everybody to think that way,” he said, proving just how simple it is for change to come about. After all , if Paul Feig who is just one director, can do this, imagine the domino effect that would come about if every major Hollywood studio and production house followed suit?

The event Paul was speaking at was held to promote the EPIX documentary ‘The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem’. This 6-part series features a long list of well-known actors, directors, writers and producers, including Paul Feig, who talk about the statistics outlined in University of Southern California professor Stacy L. Smith’s industry research on gender in Hollywood which found women made up only 4% of directors in films over the past dozen years (and sadly only 30% of speaking roles in the films of 2014).

Paul-Feig

During the panel, Stacy Smith even suggested leading Hollywood stars with power demand an equity clause in their contract as a simple way to ensure their films are accurately representing the real world. Geena Davis, is one of the industry’s leading critics of gender bias in film and regularly takes her institute’s research to many within Hollywood in order to enlighten studio heads about the impact of not portraying women in an equal manner in kids entertainment all the way through to bigger films. She has previously suggested an easy fix for gender balance problems.

“When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, ‘A crowd gathers, which is half female.’ That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17% female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know,” she explained.

We need more women to stand together, raise their voices, and create solutions that empower all women to rise with the momentum, but we also need to see more men, like Paul Feig, using their influence to further the cause of equality.

Paul-Feig

He is not the only guy to publicly declare the action he will take to create a more gender equal and diverse industry, which should be as such given it is the world’s leading creative arts industry. Actor Bradley Cooper, in response to Jennifer Lawrence’s admission she got paid less than all the men on their film ‘American Hustle’, said he would ensure he would fight for his future female co-stars to be paid the same amount as him.

Director Guillermo Del Toro is also using his status as a box office sure-thing by talking about how he has fought for equal pay for his female stars. His 2015 Halloween flick ‘Crimson Peak’ took 9 years to make, he told Jorge Ramos at Fusion in an interview, because the studio refused to pay the female leads the same as the men. Thankfully he didn’t give up, and in the end he made it happen for Jessica Chastain as well as talk openly about the importance of equal pay in the industry.

We know this is not an exhaustive list, but to have 3 huge well-known men in Hollywood champion equality and stand alongside women in the biz is a big freaking deal, and we hope to see more of it. Because of Paul Feig’s equality clause announcement, we are even more pumped to see his ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot!

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  1. Pingback: Hollywood Heavyweights Join Forces For "ReFrame" Campaign Tackling Inequality In The Film Industry - GirlTalkHQ

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