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How to Fix Sexism in Hollywood

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Much like every other organization created by old white men for the benefit of said old white men, Hollywood is chiefly populated by old white men, and their slightly less-old white male protégés. And, much like every other organization created by old white men for the benefit of themselves, it is currently the target of a large number of social justice warriors that would like to see the color, age and gender of those at the helm changed. More often than not, there seems to be a sense that the old white guys need to be unseated, or some sort of entertainment-industry affirmative action program needs to dictate quotas to the industry. This is, naturally, nonsense.

So what is the solution to getting more movies produced and directed by women and racial minorities, starring women and racial minorities? More women and racial minorities should make movies. It is currently legal in all 50 states for women and non-white people to purchase and use cameras, and then distribute their movies to every person on earth with an internet connection. Near-professional level equipment can be bought for a few thousand dollars and video editing software is pre-installed on most computers. Let's not forget that the Blair Witch Project required a camcorder and some teenagers running around in the woods. It made almost $250 million at the box office.

In Hollywood, there absolutely are wild racial stereotypes for any character other than a white male, there are almost only flat female characters who exist exclusively to lend credibility to the male hero, and there is a near total absence of anything other than white male directors and producers. This is a fact. Tellingly, there are many blockbuster movies that don't pass the Bechdel Test, where two named female characters have a conversation about something other than a man. That is ridiculous, but to expect a bunch of old guys to change their tune when that tune has made them billions of dollars is also ridiculous. If there is a market for movies involving interesting female characters, or Asian guys who don't use computers and math to help the white male lead, the barrier to entry has never been lower.

Instead of waiting for geriatric men to stop making prequel sequel sequels to a successful franchise they started 25 years ago, and hoping they bend to pressure from Twitter users to stop casting a younger version of themselves as a hero, it is incumbent on the disenfranchised movie-lovers themselves to make the movies they wish were being made. Will the special effects be worse? Yeah. Will you star alongside Brad Pitt on your first Youtube short? Probably not. But, most everyone in Hollywood today got their start making crummy short films with zero budget. Importantly, though, they made crummy short films people wanted to watch, and their empires were born. The rest of them didn't make it.

With something like 85 percent of the world population being non-white, and slightly more than half of everyone being female, there is no shortage of potential audience. So, instead of nagging at old white dudes to change the industry that has been so good to them, it's time for everyone else to start telling their own stories. The time has never been better, and it has never been easier to reach an audience.

Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.