Demographics and stories: how numbers lie

I’ve been reading The Halo Effect: … and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers by Phil Rosenzweig. It’s all about how businesses create stories to explain success and failure instead of looking at hard data and analyzing what really happened. For example, when Cisco was riding high, its employees were happy, its CEO […]

If audiences don’t want women as leads, why did Aliens succeed?


When I was working in film, I asked many people why blockbuster movies so rarely featured female leads. In response, I was always assured that mountains of hard-data proof indicated audiences won’t accept female lead characters in blockbuster movies. For some reason, perhaps given the time period, Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson) was frequently cited as […]

Advised against directing movies: boys, too?

Over the years since I started this website, I’ve had a few anonymous emails from young women complaining about similar difficulties at film school to the ones I experienced. But another experience I’ve heard recounted from more than one source goes something like this: Young woman: “I want to direct films.” Film pros/professors: “No, you […]

My position on porn

There’s a reason why I’ve never really stated whether I’m pro- or anti-porn: my position is not that simple. And I don’t understand why anyone thinks it can be that simple. Not everyone’s working from the same definition of “porn”, for one thing. But there are so many elements to this conversation. In fact, forget […]

Tippi Hedren on Alfred Hitchcock

In 2008, two articles appeared on the online version of the London Times. The first, on September 6, asks: Was Alfred Hitchcock a misogynist? He was adored by actresses. The second, just a few days later on September 11, contradicts the first: Tippi Hedren: Alfred Hitchcock tried to destroy my career. Of course, in 2005, […]

Dear Hollywood, there’s this thing called sexual harassment

Melissa Silverstein reported recently that Megan Fox is off the third Transformers movie because she’s sick of Michael Bay’s well-known verbal abuse and crap in general. This isn’t too surprising, considering Bay had Fox wash his car for her audition. But will calling him on his misdeeds hurt him any? Silverstein says: But he gets […]