Turning Point for Women in Entertainment

Today you don’t have to be male (or even change your get up) to be the lead actor on a top television show anymore. While many female-driven shows of the past –“Balika Vadhu”, “Nagin”, and many more under the Ekta Kapoor banner– were loved by both the critics and the audience and they also gained widespread appeal and praises from the audiences. They couldn’t escape the category “shows for women” even though many revolved around genres, such as action or sci-fi, where men took the leading roles.
2015-16, however, bucked up that trend and also helped in ending that dry spell of female entertainment jobs. If we talk about the online English shows (watched by almost everone acroos the world) “Supergirl” is currently leading as the highest rated new show followed by “Blindspot” which is a thriller with an amnesiac woman playing the lead role. According to news, some new shows like “UnREAL”, “Flesh & Bone” and “Agent Carter” will also have women in their leading role. And if we talk about the hindi shows, you will find YouTube flooded with many short films focusing on women; be it being a single mom, overcoming the fear of eve-teasing, or any other thing in this world.
That’s not to say that these new shows are the only ones leading the charge. More likely, they are the result of the past decade and its flux of strong women leads. “Swaragani”, “Diya Aur Bati Hum” and “Ek Dooje Ke Vaste” have all gained critical recognition and earned awards for their efforts towards empowering women. Do you know these shows have gained the moniker of “great television” first and “shows for women” second? The story has brought the importance of the ‘Female’ gender.
Despite the years’ progress, major entertainment jobs for female, in both television & films, as the writers, directors and producers – are still harder to come by. According to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, only 20% of the film jobs will be filled by women. By doing a survey of close to 6,000 positions, the study revealed that the most likely entertainment careers for women are producers, followed by executive producers, then editors, then writers, directors and in the last cinematographers. In the last group of cinematographers, only 5% of the women filled the total positions for the Top 250 films produced in the year 2014-15.
This news of lack of entertainment careers for women, especially for the behind-the-scenes jobs, is not new. There’s a lack of female video game creators. In literary circles, men still continue to get more books reviewed than their female counterparts. In the music industry, female music producers are a rarity to find.
There might be a lot of space to make some real progress for women in entertainment industry, but 2015-16’s television line-up is definitely proof that trends are moving fast and are moving in the right direction. “Strong female leads” shouldn’t be a genre apart from mainstream viewing. And as women get an equal share of screen time and respect as major players in the entertainment industry, having women as the leads, producers and directors should become much more common and hassle free.
Entertainment careers for females have come a long way from the time when the roles of the early 20th century – where the women only played an ‘abla-nari’ in movies and television. There’s plenty more work to do, but 2015-16 was a good showing for the progress already made.
Check out www.viduda.com for more such exciting blogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *