With The Wrong Kind of Women, Naomi McDougall Jones Makes the Case for Gender Parity in the Film Industry
The day the nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards were announced was a frustrating time for Naomi McDougall Jones. The actor, screenwriter, and award-winning independent filmmaker (Imagine I’m Beautiful (2014), Bite Me (2019)) has long been an advocate for gender parity in the film industry. Her TEDTalk, What It’s Like to be a Woman in Hollywood, has been viewed over one million times. Jones was disappointed, but not surprised, that not one woman was nominated in the Best Director Category.
“The all-male directors nomination knocked the wind out of even me,” Jones says. “The fact that the top four nominated films are so blatantly, not only by and about white men, but they read like a bad punchline to a joke. It’s unbelievable.” In the 92-year history of the Academy Awards, only five women have been nominated for Best Director. Only one, Kathryn Bigelow has won (Hurt Locker).
Despite her frustration, Jones is continuing to lead the revolution she outlined in her TEDTalk. Her book, The Wrong Kind of Women – Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood, was released February 4, 2020 by Beacon Press. Informed by the journey of her own career, by interviews with others throughout the film industry, and by cold, hard data, Jones deconstructs the casual, commonplace sexism rampant in Hollywood that has kept women out of key roles for decades.
The Wrong Kind of Women is no mere “female fluff piece” but rather should be required reading by not only anyone involved in the film industry but also anyone who enjoys movies and television. Armed with more than 100 hours of interviews and abundant studies and news articles, Jones lays out her argument like a seasoned trial attorney. Jones shows the growing women-driven, revolution in filmmaking – sparked by streaming services, outdated distribution models, and new avenues for direct-to-audience – which has enabled women to build careers outside the traditional studio system.
Jones makes a strong business case for financing and producing films by female filmmakers. These films make money. She also offers concrete suggestions for change within and outside of the film industry, including by filmgoers “voting with your dollars”.
“Generation after generation, women have faced the devasting reality that Hollywood is a system built to keep them out. The films created by that system influence everything from our worldviews to our brain chemistry. When women’s voices are excluded from the medium, the impact on society is immense.”
The Wrong Kind of Women – Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible, and bookstores. To learn more about Naomi McDougall Jones and her projects, visit https://www.naomimcdougalljones.com/.