Meryl Streep Wants Hollywood To Give Women A Chance

By: Amanda Crum - June 18, 2012

With the huge-budgeted flop of “John Carter” on every movie exec’s mind, most are probably trying to think up ways to pack in audiences this summer, and Meryl Streep says she has the answer: women.

The business of film, like so many other things, is mostly dominated by males. A shockingly low number of women work behind the cameras, and that’s what Streep is calling on Hollywood to change; she even has the numbers to back it up. And in a time when huge box-office dominators are hit-or-miss–take “Battleship” vs. “The Avengers” for instance–one can look at several female-oriented films that have been released in the past few years which did amazingly well and see that the movie industry is missing out on some good opportunities.

While speaking at the 2012 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards last week, Streep implored the people with the power to stop and take a second glance at what women are capable of.

“In this room, we are very familiar with these dreadful statistics that detail the shocking under-representation of women in our business,” she said. “[Women make up] 7-10% of directors, producers, writers, and cinematographers in any given year. This in spite of the fact that in the last five years, five little movies aimed at women have earned over $1.6bn: The Help, The Iron Lady (believe it or not), Bridesmaids, Mamma Mia! and The Devil Wears Prada. The Iron Lady…cost $14m to make it and brought in $114m. Pure profit! So why? Why? Don’t they want the money?”

Streep, who has been one of the most respected and sought-after actresses in the country for many years, may just be the one person who could get studio bigwigs to listen. She’s already gotten their attention after being quoted in the Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair; this could well be the preamble to women dominating the coming years in film .

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

View all posts by Amanda Crum
  • sailor

    Meryl Streep is absolutely right. We need more women in movie production and direction.
    She is an amazing person and I enjoy seeing
    movies in which she plays
    a leading role in either acting or producing.

    While we are on the topic of women’s leading roles, I hope that
    either Gov. Romney or Pres. Obama will select a woman for Vice President. Like Sheila Bair(Rep) or Hillary Clinton (Dem)
    I am sure VP Biden will accept Sec. of State.

  • June

    It’s not women. It’s not men. Hollywood just sucks. They’re out of original thought and no one is willing to take a chance on new ideas for fear of failure. They’re just going to keep recycling the same stupid stuff over and over again. It has nothing to do with gender.

  • Sean Mat

    Please people are always complaining about Hollywood being unoriginal. How many ideals have you come up with ? You know if you look real close every movie is nearly the same. Even if they did come with something original you still would complain because it’s the “in thing to do”. Bridesmaid is just the Hangover with women. Same theme, Guy/Girl is about to get married and just before, the mischief begins.

  • http://yahoo roger

    Meryl – put up your own millions and start up a Production company like Witherspoon,Barrymore,etc. and hire women.

  • Lee

    John Carter wasn’t a flop because it was a bad movie. It was not promoted properly. I had no interest in Battleship, but as a woman I enjoyed Avengers. The article left out one movie, maybe because it wasn’t summer when it came out, but I don’t think that Hunger Games was a male-oriented film, and it did quite well.

  • Kay

    I personally wish Hollywood would look to adult comedies. For example, a couple of years ago Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin made “It’s Complicated”. The theater was packed with we, over 30, who spent the next 2 hours roaring with laughter. Other great examples like “As Good As It Gets”, etc. are good clean adult comedies with great stars. Why oh why are not more of these movies made?

  • Becca

    With me when I go and see a movie I look and see who is in it. If it is a no named actor or actress usually I don’t go to see it. There are some cases where I do but mostly I consider it a rental and wait. But if there happens to be a “big named” star I will see it. I love anything with Meryl Streep in it and other female “older stars”. There needs to be more movies with these people in it. Remember “The Women” and how great it was. That is because it hit all ages of women and brought the generations together. That is the kind of movies that I like to see. And what we need again.

  • Firstdance2000

    John Carter didn’t flop, it under acheived! Men, Women, unless the script is good and the director has a vision, this is begings to look like a self serving endeavor instead of one pointed outward for the audience enjoyment.

  • Nathalie

    They left out the #1 female oriented franchise of all time, Twilight. Started with a $30 million budget and produces $400 million. Second film, $50 million budget produce $700 million. But, being the only truly female oriented franchise. No franchise had been more critized than Twilight. No franchise had lesser budget than Twilight even after producing $400 million with $30 million. You are right, Meryll. This summer, the only female-oriented blockbuster was Snow White & the Hunstman with 2 females lead. Even then, in order to atract the male crowd they lower the romance way too much and add so much action. Still as a woman, I was satisfied and watch it 3 times cause of the 2 females leads. Woman represents half of the population and being represented by only 7% of Hollywood sucks. We need more high budgets film directed by female with female demographic as target.