Monday, June 24, 2013

"Spexism": Gender and Spec Screenplay Sales

It seems that whenever I read about a spec screenplay sale in the trades, in pretty much every case the screenwriter is male. Turns out it's not confirmation bias, it's true.

Susana Orozco dug through the stats for Go Into the Story, and their cool if sobering infographic starkly lays out gender disparity in the spec market, a worse gap than in TV writing, which is saying something. Spec script sales for women hit a new low in 2012, with 12 scripts sold by women out of 127 total.

Entertainment website The Wrap picked up the story, which it names "Spexism."

I'd be interested to see the genre breakdown of those 12 sales: I wonder if they're the more typically "female" types of movies such as family dramas and romantic comedies. Of course, there are female screenwriters who work in traditionally male genres such as science fiction, action, and comedy (including The Heat's Katie Dippold), but we've got a long way to go for parity for women and writers of color. The diversity of movies we watch can only be helped by diversity all along the line, in front of and behind the camera.

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