TALK BACK
                          WOMEN WHO DIRECT TOO MUCH
                                   (BITCH BITCH BITCH!)
                                           Karyl Miller

     All us lucky little "Womenandminorities" got our annual 15 seconds of fame
recently; after the Directors Guild of America released its worse non-news yet, for
anybody but 26 year old white guys.

     Although we, your faithful Underdogs, usually come joined at the empty
pocketbook; permit me to divide us into two groups. According to the 1990 US
Census: blacks are 12.1%, Latinos 9%, Asian 2.9%, and Native Americans are
0.08%, equaling 23.9% of all Americans. I'll call that group "minorities." Women
(black, white and plaid) equal a whopping 53%; so I'll call this group "the majority."
So women are NOT a minority, we're just treated like one. How come?

     When the DGA made its announcement; Jesse Jackson was on the case,
fighting the good fight for all us underdogs - which is great. But, Girlfriend, give the
man a break! Jesse can't be expected to do it all.
With all due respect; he couldn't
manage to wangle us an invitation to that "Million Man March."

     And why doesn't a group as large as ours have a Jesse of our own, someone
like Candice Bergen, specifically fighting the good fight for women? Ain't we under-

     How come Hollywood holds its collective breath while GLAAD pronounces a
"Philadelphia" PC, but nobody consults any women about  the women portrayed in
all Disneymyth?

     How come a newspaper routinely sends both a black critic and a white
critic to do contrasting reviews on a "Do The Right Thing," but they send one man
to review a "Fried Green Tomatoes"? Hasn't the media heard the news? - men and
women come from different planets now.
Put Ebert and Mrs. Ebert on the air! I
want to see them duke it out. I want to see a thumbs up with an acrylic nail

     How come in this - the Golden Age of the Politically Correct, it's still acceptable
in features to exclude all female directors from consideration?

     How come it's acceptable for TV shows to have only one woman writer on staff?

     How come "tokenism" isn't a dirty word anymore?

    And here's an annoying question; if we women are 53%, how come half or more
of the writers, directors, and producers on staff aren't female?

     Everyone agrees an exec producer can't and shouldn't be forced to hire any
director he doesn't want. Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Adler of the DGA expressed
genuine indignation over our situation; yet all the ads the union has been running,
featured photos of male directors.  
So for once, women weren't used to sell
something, and
I'm complaining?
But this omission discourages girl children and female film
students from entering the field, to say nothing of the women production
associates waiting in the wings. I think truth-in-advertising dictates the next DGA ad
feature Amy Heckerling with a caveat emptor: "WARNING TO WOMEN: Dreaming
this big could be
hazardous to your wallet and your mental health."

     I would also implore male bosses who criticize other male bosses for
under-employing women:
Ask not what other men are doing for women in
Hollywood, ask yourself what you are doing.
Writing and directing work isn't easily quantified. But look around.
Is your executive suite still configured in the missionary
position? You know -
men on the top, women on the bottom?
How are you elevating the status of women? Are women being paid equally?
Promoted equally? Mentored equally?
How many people that you hired were
women? Half?
How many were above-the-line? Half? How many of the decision
makers were women? Half?
What example are you setting for other men in our industry?

Fellow women of showbiz, it's time to recognize the warning signs: Either
we fight discrimination now or we can dust off our steno pads, because
they're taking back the good jobs! Yes, under the glass ceiling is a floor
made of quicksand! The biggies think we're harmless.

Let's bite the hand that's hardly feeding us.
Join my Strike Against Action Pictures (SAAP) and hit Hollywood where it
really hurts - in the box office.
Let's unite and stop "going along" to these cinematic killing contests with our
husbands and boyfriends.
Let's force them to go along with us to a so-called
chick-flick.(And don't watch "Eraser" on spec. Make sure he goes to "Cold Comfort
Farm" first,or you will never get your way.)
This will double the box office for movies women like!
If they refuse, we refuse, effectively cutting by one third the opening weekend box
office receipts for macho-movies whose values we deplore.

   For women, it's a win-win situation. Once Hollywood starts making real money      
from movies by, for, and about women, and there's a market for more of the same;
they're gonna have to hire us and pay through the nose!
Ms. Miller is an Emmy Award winning writer-producer.

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