It's no secret that the type of women we see in Hollywood rarely represent the types of women that exist among the general population. Many leading actresses work long and hard to look a certain way because Hollywood demands it of them — and this Twitter account documenting how women are introduced in Hollywood scripts proves just how misogynistic the industry can be.
The account, @femintroscripts, was created by producer Ross Putman in response to a disturbing pattern he noticed in the way women are introduced in scripts. Female characters were first and foremost described by their appearance — "gorgeous," "smokin' hot," "model pretty," "a raw, sexual force" — with limited attention paid to their actual character.
Putman changes the female character's name to "Jane" in each script he tweets. Speaking to Jezebel, he said:
For every confused "you're" and "your," there's just as much latent misogyny and sexism in the scripts I read. Women are first and foremost described as "beautiful," "attractive," or — my personal blow-my-brains-out-favorite, "stunning." They're always "stunning" in a certain dress or "stunning" despite being covered in dirt because they're a paleontologist — or whatever. ...
I plan on posting every one that I read, and there are plenty that aren't offensive, but honestly, most of them have some element — subtle or overt — that plays into latent objectification.
The recent #OscarsSoWhite furor raised the issue of Hollywood's lack of on-screen diversity, but clearly, the industry needs to improve on the work done behind the scenes as well.
Last year's Hollywood Diversity Report showed that not only were minorities and women underrepresented by 2-to-1 in lead roles, women also lagged an astounding 8-to-1 as directors. The statistics are particularly befuddling considering the fact that audiences respond better to diverse casts and experiences.
During her 2015 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards acceptance speech, actress Reese Witherspoon made the case for films that represented all types of women — and not just because it's the right thing to do. "Films with women at the center are not a public service project," she said. "They are a big-time, bottom-line-enhancing, money-making commodity."
Two days into its creation, Putman's account has already amassed more than 43,000 followers. Clearly, the absurdity that he finds in script descriptions of women resonate with others, too.
Cover image via Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com.