The British are coming is a cry perennially heard in Hollywood. But, as far as the women are concerned, they appear to have taken a wrong turning.
The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment industry newspaper, published its annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the business yesterday. Only JK Rowling, at number 64, managed to penetrate the overwhelmingly American assortment of actresses and executives who dominate.
What the list does prove is that, when it comes to running studios, producing big-budget movies, managing cut-throat marketing campaigns, or heading up the guilds, women are every bit as much in the driving seat as men.
It shows that 45 per cent of Hollywood studios are run by women, and that four of the top six US TV networks – CBS, Fox, ABC and UPN – also have women in charge. Number one on the list is Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount Pictures and one of the most enduring studio chiefs in a town notorious for discarding studio chiefs almost as fast as evening gowns worn to the Academy Awards. Top-ranking executives also bagged the number two and three spots. Stacey Snider, chairman of Universal Pictures, has been instrumental in turning around the fortunes of her company, thanks to films like the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, The Bourne Identity and the Eminem movie 8 Mile. Amy Pascal at Columbia Pictures had arguably the best year of all thanks to Spider-Man.
With executives in television, production, music and marketing dominating the list, names familiar to the masses are the exception. Famous names include Oprah Winfrey (number 8, but not because of her acting) Julia Roberts (12) and Madonna (60) and Cameron Diaz make the cut. Even fewer on the list are under the age of 30 -- the Olsen twins managed to just sneak in at number 98.
The top 30
1 Sherry Lansing, chairman, Paramount Pictures
2 Stacey Snider, chairman, Universal Pictures
3 Amy Pascal, chairman, Columbia Pictures
4 Nancy Tellem, president, CBS Entertainment
5 Michele Anthony, executive vice-president, Sony Music Entertainment
6 Gail Berman, president of entertainment, Fox
7 Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment
8 Oprah Winfrey, chat-show host
9 Judy McGrath, president, MTV Networks
10 Carole Black, president, Lifetime Entertainment Services
11 Dana Walden, president, 20th Century Fox TV
12 Julia Roberts, actress
13 Nikki Rocco, president of distribution, Universal
14 Dawn Ostroff, president of entertainment, UPN television
15 Laurie MacDonald, co-head, DreamWorks Pictures
16 Nina Jacobson, president, Buena Vista Motion Picture Group
17 Hilary Rosen, chairman, Recording Industry Association of America
18 Mary Parent, president of production, Universal
19 Helen Hahn, co-chief operating officer, DreamWorks
20 Polly Anthony, president, Epic Records
21 Elizabeth Gabler, president, Fox 2000
22 Carolyn Strauss, executive vice president of original programming, HBO
23 Anne Sweeney, president, Disney Channel and ABC Cable Networks
24 Michelle Manning and Karen Rosenfelt, Paramount co-presidents of production
25 Terry Press, head of marketing, DreamWorks
26 Dawn Taubin, president of domestic marketing, Warner Bros
27 Meryl Poster, co-president of production, Miramax
28 Laurie Younger, chief financial officer, ABC
29 Mindy Herman, president, E! television
30 Sylvia Rhone, chairman, Elektra Entertainment