Our industry favors men more than women. This is indisputable. In Hollywood, 94% of films are directed by men. At Cannes this year, out of the twenty Palm D'or nominees, none of them are women. This is one element of the problem.
Here's something else. Nearly all actresses I know have had an experience where they've turned up at an audition, only to find out it's in some guy's apartment, and as it turns out; the scene she has to read is a little more sexual than expected. That's one example. There are many that are far worse. Of all the male actors I know, none have been presented with this problem. I have talked about this before, in my article 'Something All Young Actresses Should Be Aware Of'. "There is one magic way to meet women. And not just any women, but the most beautiful women you could find. It's a very simple sentence, "I'm casting a movie."" Absolutely anyone can hold auditions for a film. Anyone can register on Mandy.com, Casting Call Pro or Talent Circle - and there are people who abuse this.
Immediate thoughts come to mind such as 'This is a problem with society, not with the film industry' or 'I am a good guy, I don't do anything wrong.' This is a very convenient position to take and one that I, as a male in the film business, have often taken. When a newspaper reports that women are not getting their films funded, or that there are no meaty acting roles for them, I use my privilege as a man to disregard the matter; to not see it as my concern. By using this privilege, by not being accountable for it, I am becoming part of the problem. I'm being a bystander; ignoring a very real and very pressing problem in our industry.
Bringing awareness to this topic is new to me, and there is so much to be looked at, discussed, and processed. A good way to start would be to hear more. In what ways is the film industry unfair/prejudice? (i.e. acting roles, directors, etc), and in what ways are women potentially manipulated and put in danger? (i.e. unprofessional auditions, nude scenes, etc). I'm sure there are many, many things that I am not aware of -- and that's exactly why I'd encourage you to share them with the readers here.
I'd really like to hear from you all - men and women, on this topic. By hearing more around your concerns and issues, we can then go deeper into them. This is a discussion that needs to happen more in our industry, but generally doesn't. So let's start.