It is without a doubt that we know that change needs to happen when it comes to representing women in all industries. The women of Friday afternoon’s Comic-Con@Home panel Entertainment is Female: A Conversation with Hollywood Executives aims to address this, specifically in the entertainment industry, with every decision they make.
This year’s panel included Jeannette Francis (Bad Robot), Mette Norkjaer (BOOM! Studios), Grey Cusack (Entertainment One), Aubrey Lee (Lord Miller), Nikki Baida (Lord Miller), and Sam Crawley (Skybound Entertainment) while moderated by actress and presenter, Tiffany Smith.
Climbing the industry latter is no easy feat. To kick things off, each panelist gave their insight on how to get a headstart in the career you want with all sharing the same sentiment: build your network and know what exactly you want.
“When you start pursuing your passions, you’re going to be networking simultaneously, and you will have more ins,” Mette comments.
Jeanette includes, “It’s invaluable to make sure you make the most of the opportunity to get to know the people around you because you never know who’s going to come back and assist you in the future.”
Things have significantly shifted since they started their career path, especially with a closer lens towards gender inequality and the #MeToo movement. “Sensitivity is high as it should be because so much has happened in the past that’s just really unacceptable. I think it is hypersensitive and continues to try and be more and more inclusive, but obviously, we have to demand that on a daily basis; otherwise, it’s not gonna happen,” says Grey.
Aubrey went on to include a recent UCLA Hollywood Diversity report from 2018 – 2019, which revealed a lot of gains for female and diverse characters. On the other hand, behind the camera is a whole different issue.
- 17% of women received writing credits
- 13% of POC received writing credits
In an analysis of 11 major and mid-major studios:
- 91% of C-Level positions were white people
- 82% were men
“It’s interesting that we’ve made huge gains in front of the camera. I think for us as executives, who really have more power to make a difference in what stories are chosen and what movies and TV shows are being made, it’s on us to take responsibility for making sure that behind the camera is as diverse because it can’t just be a cosmetic fix for this problem to trick audiences thinking we’re really doing diversity by putting more actors and characters that are diverse in our movies,” Aubrey declares.
With more social issues at the top of the conversation now more than ever (ex: Black Lives Matter), more companies have shifted their focus to make the fundamental and necessary changes.
All the women on this panel stood by the fact it is also on their job to help move the needle and amplify new talent’s voices. One of Spider-Man’s most significant lines applies to these women here, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” They are working hard to make sure they’re picking the right team, voices, and talent and allowing the opportunity for diverse voices, women, and up-and-coming writers for the projects they’re working on to create a better future the long run.
Head to Comic-Con’s Official YouTube Page to watch the full video.