360° Coverage : A Number Cruncher's Look At Oscar's Woman Problem

2 Updates
A Number Cruncher's Look At Oscar's Woman Problem
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

A Number Cruncher's Look At Oscar's Woman Problem

Feb 28 2014, 2:35pm CST | by

At first glance, it’s hard to see how the Oscars don’t equally represent the most successful men and women in Hollywood. There are just as many acting categories for men as there are for women so...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

33 weeks ago

A Number Cruncher's Look At Oscar's Woman Problem

Feb 28 2014, 2:35pm CST | by

At first glance, it’s hard to see how the Oscars don’t equally represent the most successful men and women in Hollywood. There are just as many acting categories for men as there are for women so the same number get awards.

But Amelia Showalter over at Newsweek used numbers to find a very different story. Showalter is a quantitative political consultant who was the director of digital analytics at  President Obama’s re-election campaign. She’s a numbers-first kind of wonk.

She used her analytic skills to look at 80 years of acting nominations and films up for Best Picture to see if any patterns emerged. She found that there’s a double standard when it comes to movies focused on women instead of men. Female-centric movies may net acting nominations but they don’t usually earn Best Picture nods. In other words, a woman is more likely than a man to earn an acting nomination for a movie that didn’t make the Best Picture cut.

To take a closer look at the problem Showalter focused on movies that were nominated for Best Picture but either only had female acting nomination or only had male acting nominations. She found 7% of the female-skewing films won Best Picture while 20% of the male-skewing films won the biggest prize.

Of films that had multiple actress nominations, 44 failed to also earn Best Picture nominations. You can see that pattern this year too. Both Blue Jasmine and August: Osage County earned two acting nods each (for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress) but neither film was nominated for Best Picture. To add insult to injury to that statistic, only nine films were nominated for Best Picture. Today’s Academy rules allow for 10 Best Picture nominees if the movies earn enough votes.

Sadly, this analysis is mostly a reflection of what’s happening in Hollywood at large. There is less money out there for movies that are seen as female-centric so fewer get made and fewer end up in the top ranks at Oscar time. Once a movie has been nominated, it’s in the hands of a group of 6,000-odd voters who the Los Angeles Times has shown are overwhelmingly white and male. So Argo beats Zero Dark Thirty. The Departed beats The Queen and Gladiator beats Erin Brockovich.

In the above examples, we could argue all day about which of those films were actually better. But what Showalter has shown, from a completely objective point of view, is that there is a very serious bias towards male-themed films.

How can this change? For one thing, the Academy could invite a lot more women to become voters. But there also needs to be more female directors and more women holding the purse strings at the top. Earlier this week a group of professors from USC’s Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative wrote a guest post for my blog where they talked about this problem. From their article:

For those who are impatient for change or unhappy with simply raising awareness, there are procedural solutions to these representational issues. Transparent decision-making practices surrounding hiring are a first step toward change. … Studios, production companies, or agencies developing and packaging films could elect to require that women and people of color are at minimum considered for open directing jobs. Diversity can become part of the fabric of decision-making at the earliest stages of a movie’s lifecycle.

Follow me on Twitter at DorothyatForbes.

Join us live tweeting the Oscars Sunday night at #ForbesOscars

Most Profitable Oscar movies

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of 20,000 by 30 per ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

India to join Asian infrastructure bank
Beijing, Oct 24 (IANS) Twenty-one Asian countries including India, ready to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as founding members, Friday signed a MoU on establishing the bank.
 
 
Boom in dam construction threatens freshwater biodiversity
London, Oct 24 (IANS) An unprecedented global boom in the construction of hydropower dams, spearhead by developing and emerging economies, could reduce the number of rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity, says a study.
 
 
Beetroot boosts athletes' performance
New York, Oct 24 (IANS) Forget energy drinks, athletes may now rely on a more organic drink to enhance their performance - beetroot juice.
 
 
Dark shadow of Ebola now a global threat: Trinidad PM
Port-of-Spain, Oct 24 (IANS) The dark shadow of the Ebola has now become "a real and imminent global threat", Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla