Meryl Streep Wants Hollywood To Give Women A Chance

    June 18, 2012
    Amanda Crum

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 .