Hollywood is at a watershed moment. The #MeToo movement partly inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal has exposed systemic sexual abuse at the highest levels of the studio system, and pay inequality and under representation both in front of and behind the camera are now in the spotlight like never before with Oscar winner Frances McDormand calling for inclusion riders to guarantee more equity and diversity. Women are fighting back, no longer willing to slot into the roles of sex objects and victims. The time could not be more propitious for Helen O’Hara’s new book Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film. Helen brilliantly and entertainingly surveys the time at the very beginning of filmmaking when women could occupy important roles, directing, writing and producing films as well as starring in them. As time went on and money was made, women were systematically marginalised and – although great progress has been made – many of these battles are still ongoing.
I had the opportunity to talk with Helen about the book and its many fascinating insights.
- Helen O’Hara’s Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film is available at Amazon, or Bookshop.org and all good bookshops.