Thanks to the blockbuster success of Wonder Woman, Hollywood has finally realized that women can direct stuff who knew?!
In an effort to establish parity with male directors who still outnumber female directors 23 to 1 NBC has launched a new “Female Forward” initiative to develop new directors in partnership with Mad Men and Homeland director Lesli Linka Glatter, who is helming the network’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers.
The program is part of NBC’s push to reach gender parity in its scripted series directors, and will give 10 female helmers the opportunity to shadow up to three episodes of an NBC series, culminating in an in-season commitment to direct at least one episode of the series she shadows.
Demand for female directors is finally, belatedly creeping up, at least in TV Ava DuVernay’s OWN series Queen Sugar and Season 2 of Netflix and Marvel’s Jessica Jones are wholly directed by women (mostly because both shows are run by women who made that hiring policy a priority) but a recent report from Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows that opportunities for female directors in film are actually declining. In 2016, women accounted for seven percent of directors who worked on the top 250 domestic grossing films, down two percent from the previous year.
It shouldn’t be harder for our daughters to direct than for our sons, it should be an equal playing field, said Linka Glatter in a statement. I’m truly optimistic that with this kind of commitment from the incredible Jen Salke and NBC Entertainment, we can actually make a difference. A program like this is a game changer and its an honor to be a part of it.
Female Forward will begin with the 2018-19 season on 10 NBC series, with a plan to expand the number of directors and shows included in subsequent years.