We are members of the "Original Six," the director/filmmaker-activists who founded a women's committee in the '70s and sued two Hollywood studios for gender discrimination in the '80s. AMA!
Thanks for all the great questions. Keep making noise, keep making films. That's All Folks!!!
You may have heard the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating gender dis-crimination (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-women-directors-discrimination-investigation-20151002-story.html ) in Hollywood. It's not the first time! Between 1939 and 1979, women directed only ½ of 1% of all feature films and episodic television shows. In 1979, we—six women members of the Directors Guild of America—launched a campaign to expose and rectify gender hiring inequities, which got the Guild to sue the industry. Because of our actions, by 1995 the statistics for women directors rose from ½ of 1% to 16% of episodic TV and 3% of feature films. Then it all changed. After 1995, the statistics dipped, flat-lined and haven’t recovered since. As of June 2015, women were directing 13% of episodic TV. In the last half of 2015 that figure increased to 16%—an increase that occurred only after the ACLU announced a new investigation of discrimi-nation against women directors in Hollywood. The figures today are exactly where they were 21 years ago. What happened? Women in the industry are still trying to figure that out. By speaking out (most recently we told our story in a long story in Pacific Standard magazine: http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/the-original-six-and-history-hollywood-sexism) we are trying to change that. Ask us about our research in the '70s, how men and "liberal" Hollywood have (and haven't) aided our efforts, and what's changed (and what hasn't!) in Hollywood today.
We are: Nell Cox directed episodic TV (The Waltons, L. A. LAW, MAS*H). She also wrote, directed and pro-duced dramatic films for PBS including the feature length Liza’s Pioneer Diary. She is currently writing novels as well as screenplays about issues affecting women.
Joelle Dobrow is an Emmy winning TV director / producer (Noticiero Estudiantil) and talk show director (Good Morning America-West Coast, AM Los Angeles).
Victoria Hochberg is an award winning writer and director of episodic television (Sex and the City), dramatic specials (Jacob Have I Loved) documentaries (Metroliner), music videos (the Eagles), and feature films (Dawg).
Lynne Littman won an Academy Award for her documentary, Number Our Days after it won the San Francisco film festival prize. Her independent feature, Testament, premiered at Telluride and earned its star, Jane Alexander, a Best Actress Oscar nomination. (Our two other director colleagues Susan Bay Nimoy and Dolores Ferraro could not join us today.)
Here we are: http://imgur.com/aJ3Ze7n
Read our story in Pacific Standard: http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/the-original-six-and-history-hollywood-sexism
Watch a video of the founding of the Women's Steering Committee: http://www.dga.org/The-Guild/Committees/Diversity/Women/WSC-Founding-Video.aspx
Read more about the WSC, our lawsuit, and what hasn't changed: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/35-years-pioneering-women-directors-734580