Laura Linney had a few choice words on gender inequity within the film and television industry at a gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last night. The Emmy-winning actress was on hand to accept the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film at Women in Film's annual Crystal + Lucy awards in Los Angeles, and when she took the stage, she offered a harsh reality check about what it's like to actually be a woman in film.
Noting that most directors, cast, and crew on-set are male, Linney said it is "very easy to become isolated just due to the ration of gender inequality that exists."
"This is a problem," continued Linney. "And it is unhealthy. And I believe has something to do with the slow pace of progress women are making, not only in their artistic lives, but especially in their business lives. The news about inequality in pay between men and women, whether in film or television, seems to be worse than it was twenty years ago. And while we are all aware of the upheavals and drama in the world of finance, the numbers and the disparity is simply too extreme to justify any excuse. Obviously, this is a problem that has been existant for DECADES, but the stagnation of progress, and the seeming acceptance of such a practice, troubles me."
Linney encouraged her fellow women in film to reach out to younger women in the industry, whether they be cast, crew, executives, or office employees. She stressed the importance of sharing information and finding solidarity with other women in the field, noting that "We have so much to learn from each other."
Gender inequity in film was a prominent theme of the night, though some took a more lighthearted approach to the issue. After hearing several actors credit her with inspiring them to get into film, Holly Hunter noted that while her award winning show on AMC might be titled Mad Men, "without these women, the guys would be just a bunch of desperate masturbators in great suits," according to Variety.