Investigating Hollywood's 'Celluloid Ceiling'

February 2, 2015 5:45 PM

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In the unlikely event that Hollywood were to bestow an award for "Best Researcher on Sexism in the Industry," Martha Lauzen would take top prize. For 17 years, the San Diego State University professor has published an annual study called "The Celluloid Ceiling," which tracks the behind-the-scenes employment of women on the top 250 films released each year. The results aren't pretty. Dr. Lauzen's 2014 research indicates that only 17 percent of powerful roles (think director, writer, producer) are held by females -- a figure that hasn't changed since her research began in 1998.

As part of our ongoing Women in Hollywood project, we asked Dr. Lauzen about the lack of opportunities for women, how to fix the problem and whether she ever gets depressed by her own data (spoiler alert: No.)

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