'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig says he will rewrite contracts for gender equality among actors

The director of the upcoming 'Ghostbusters' remake said an equity clause for casting among minor roles would be a step towards gender parity


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The Independent Online

Hollywood film director Paul Feig has said he will put an equity clause in contracts of his future films to help achieve gender equality.

Mr Feig, director of “Spy”, “Bridesmaids” and the upcoming all-female remake of “Ghostbusters”, said he would insert a specific line in future film contracts that ensure gender-balanced casting in minor roles.

“I think we need to set these things in stone so it forces everybody to think that way,” he said at a Los Angeles panel discussion on Hollywood’s gender bias, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Feig, who achieved immense success with “Bridesmaids", which was written by Kristen Wiig, also said that “the roles still aren’t there for women”, and lambasted studios for not giving female directors the same opportunities as he was given.

The director was awarded the Athena Leading Man Award 2016 by the Athena Film Festival, which celebrates women and leadership.

University of Southern California professor Stacy L Smith, who was also at the event, suggested that A-list stars should consider an equity clause in their contracts to ensure that films reflect the demography of the real world.

According to Ms Smith’s research, women represented 30 per cent of speaking roles in films in 2014.

Women play the lead in one out of five films and are outnumbered by male directors 23 to one.

Yet research shows that women make up half of film-school students and represent half of cinema ticket buyers.

Actress and director Julie Delpy, who features in a new documentary called “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem”, said: “The next Kubrick, in no one’s mind, is a woman.”


In the film, Mr Feig says a certain view of a woman as a nagging mother has “crept into movies”.

Actresses, writers and directors have also pointed out that the woman character is usually restricted to talking about men and relationships. Women are also commonly used to "wave goodbye" to the man who is off to start his own adventure and provide the main plot of the film.