Can F-rated films help overcome sexism in Hollywood?

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The inequality between men and women in the film industry has been brought into sharp focus by stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Geena Davis and Cate Blanchett. Could a new F rating – for films made by or with major roles for women – help close the gender gap?

Here are some facts about the film industry:

  • One of the top 100 grossing films of last year in the US was directed by a woman. [Source]
  • Women had less than a third of speaking parts in the most popular films last year. [Source]
  • Of the most successful 100 films of 2014, 12% had female protagonists. [Source]
  • On the biggest films of the last 20 years, 77% of crew members were male. [Source]
  • And as Jennifer Lawrence found out, actresses usually get paid less than men.

Everybody knows the film business has a problem.

A-list stars like Cate Blanchett, who used her 2014 Oscars acceptance speechto point out films about women are not “niche”, Geena Davis, who set up her Institute on Gender in Media, and Jennifer Lawrence, who penned an essay about unequal pay, have made sure of that.

But it is perhaps only when those facts are spelled out that it becomes clear quite how far the scales are tipped.

Thanks to those actresses, among others, it also feels like there might finally be sufficient pressure for things to change. But it is not just big names who are pushing for progress.

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