My last big girl blog post was about being a fat woman trying to make it as a screenwriter.
Now I’m wondering if perhaps a more pertinent problem is just to be a woman trying to make it as a screenwriter. And whether or not that’s worth it in an industry that is so skewed.
I’m of course talking about the Roman Polanski win at the Cesars in France (god bless Adèle Haenel and the others who walked out!). But I’m also talking about Harvey Weinstein. And I’d be remiss to forget about all the women snubbed at the Oscars last year — Natalie Portman may have embroidered their names on her cloak, but they deserved so much more.
According to Woman and Hollywood and the Center For the Study of Women in Television and Film, of the top 100 grossing films in 2019, only 20% of the writers were women (I don’t have the stats on POC, or WOC, but I imagine they’re equally abysmal). The disparity is just astounding and awkward. This wasn’t some statistic from two decades ago, these were the films from last year. The industry tells time and time again that our voices and our writing isn’t worth it.
I’m tired. That’s all I can say. It’s International Women’s Day and it doesn’t feel like things are changing at all. Maybe they’re getting worse. And I don’t have a solution; I can’t offer any real advice. I’m struggling and I’m hoping it’s because I’m struggling like every other writer and not because my gendered name on the cover page of my screenplays (my mom once told me that I should change my name on my writing from Elizabeth to Eli… I’m almost tempted to try it).
I’m just going to keep writing. That’s all I can do.
To all the women out there feeling less than great about how things are in our industry – and really, any industry – I’m with you. We’re just going to keep going, and we’re eventually going to win.
Thank you to all the women who are standing up and fighting back.