Stepping on stage to collect her best actress Oscar – and with the eyes of the world on her – Cate Blanchett took the opportunity to talk about equality. Or rather, the lack of it, in the film industry.
“To the audiences who went to see it [Blue Jasmine] and perhaps those of us in the industry who are foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences. Audiences want to see them and in fact they earn money."
Her words are timely. The 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report, published two weeks ago, found just 26% of films had a female lead. Meanwhile, only 4% of films were directed by women.
And last month, another new report found that in 2012, women had fewer speaking roles in movies than in any year since 2007… just 28.4%. Meanwhile of the top-grossing films of 2013, only 16% of the writers, directors and producers were female.
‘When you have a society that’s becoming more and more diverse, if you have an industry that is lagging, you have a distorted view of what’s going on in the world’, says the report author Dr Darnell Hunt.
And there is also a huge pay gap between male and female actors according to the latest Women In Media report. Angelina Jolie is the top earning actress, getting $33 million for her starring role in Maleficent. In comparison, Robert Downey Junior is the highest paid movie star, earning $75 million for Iron Man.
Let’s hope Cate’s words have an effect… and soon.