Hollywood's golden age was not so golden for women

The golden age of Hollywood It is known for its glitz, glamor, and classic movies, and researchers have now discovered that female representation in the film industry reached a record low during the so-called Golden Age.

Analyzing a century of data (1910 to 2010) at the American Film Institute Archive, researchers have removed the golden glow to reveal an industry marred by serious gender inequality.

A lot of people view this era through rose-colored glasses because Hollywood was producing so many great movies, said study lead author Luis Amaral from Northwestern University in the United States.

They argue that the types of movies being made, such as westerns, action, and crime, caused a decline in female representation. But we found that the decline occurred across all genres, including musicals, comedy, fantasy, and romance, Amaral added.

To conduct the study, the research team analyzed 26,000 films produced between 1910 and 2010.

The team analyzed all genres: action, adventure, biography, comedy, crime, drama, documentary family, fantasy, film noir, history, horror, music, musical, mystery, romance, science fiction, sport, suspense, war, western and short. to measure how many women worked as actors, screenwriters, directors and producers.

Across all genders and all four types of work, the resulting charts form exactly the same U-shape pattern. Roles for women increased from 1910 to 1920, and then fell sharply. Around 1950, roles increased steadily until 2010.

Overall, we found that the percentage of women compared to men in any role was consistently less than 50 percent for all years from 1912 to now, the study co-author said. Murielle Dunand .

Amaral said his findings reflect what was happening in the film industry.

Before Hollywood 's Golden Age, the industry was fueled by independent filmmakers, and women participation was steadily increasing.

From 1910 to 1920, according to the data, female actors represented approximately 40 percent of actors. Women wrote 20 percent of the movies, produced 12 percent, and directed 5 percent.

By 1930, women's acting roles were halved; producing and directing near zero roles.

The data suggests that the study system, which emerged between 1915 and 1920, is probably responsible for the change.

The industry condensed from a somewhat diverse collection of independent filmmakers scattered across the country to just five studios, which controlled everything.

As the study system falls under the control of a small group of men, women receive fewer and fewer jobs. It seems that male producers hire male directors and writers. This is association, not causality, but the data is highly suggestive, Amaral said.

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