Listen: In a commitment to hire more women directors, Universal accepts the 4% challenge
"KCRW sponsors include southwestern law, schools, Biedermann, entertainment and media law institute study, entertainment and get a law degree in two three or four years apply or take the virtual tour S W law dot EDU slash KCRW. I'm Kim masters, and this is the Hollywood breakdown joining me as Matt Bellamy of the Hollywood reporter, and Matt we know we had that speech about the inclusion writer memorably at the Oscars last year about trying to bring in more diversity more women and the women have really lagged and representation, particularly when it comes to directing movies. So there has been this thing called the four percent challenge, which is not well named because it is it's reflects the number of women who directed top movies in the past several years four percent. But the goal is not to have four percent of movies directed by women. The goal is to get various talents and institutions to commit to having at least one movie directed by a woman in the next eighteen months, and it looks like they are. Making some progress. Yeah. I mean, this doesn't this is not revolutionary. This is not going to change the business overnight, but Universal Pictures sign onto this. And the Walt Disney company CEO Bob Eiger tweeted about this yesterday where he actually said forty percent of our films. This year are directed by or coming from female filmmakers. I don't know that that is necessarily what this initiative is all about I think it's more looking going forward and how studios are going to start hiring with this in mind, but it is putting it on the front burner for a lot of these studios that they're being watched. Yeah. And a lot of talent important producing talent and directing talent and acting talent as are joining in people like Nina Jacobson, whose company produced among many other films. Most recently, I think crazy rich Asians people like her as well as Constance Wu and Carrie, Washington Reese Witherspoon Jj Abrams. These are all people Jordan Peele saying that they will. Will commit to work with a female director in the next eighteen months. And so that adds up the pressure. This is all initiative, I should have said, I guess the beginning from time's up, and and it's something that they are actually doing that could eventually lead to a better break for women. I will also mention that Regina king became the first person to take up that challenge it when she made her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes another thing that might help here is we have seen that the state of Massachusetts in response to our reporting at the Hollywood reporter on alleged abuses on the set of the Showtime series. Smith had been looking to deprive that show of its tax benefit. They get a twenty five percent tax break they shot season two there and they're looking into revoking it because of these alleged abuses. But other states are sort of moving this direction of figuring out. Maybe we shouldn't just give whoever tax credits who are we should put some terms and conditions and one of those terms and conditions looks like it will be bringing more diverse people to make these films. That's an interest. Tactic. Because so many states now do have aggressive tax incentive programs to lure productions to their state. But what they're essentially saying now is we're going to use this money that we're giving out which Hollywood so desperately needs to kind of legislate some changes that Hollywood isn't moving fast enough on its own and that seems appropriate. If you're going to be giving money away, essentially to these companies, you might as well say, hey, how about having a diverse cast and crew how about not having alleged offenses or misconduct on your set? And if you don't adhere to these things you're going to have your money taken away and that is a potent weapon in Hollywood. Thank you. Thank you. That's Melanie editorial director of the Hollywood reporter. He joins me this Monday at two o'clock on the business. I'm Kim masters, and this is the Hollywood breakdown KCRW sponsors. Include Warner Brothers pictures, presenting one of the year's most celebrated films. A star is born now nominated for eight Academy Awards, including. Best picture for consideration. In all categories. This podcast was made by public radio station. KCRW our status as a nonprofit enables us to make bold and unusual programs. But we need your support to keep it that way donate or become a member at KCRW dot com slash join."