Ava DuVernay Defends Only Hiring Female Directors: "Sue Me"

Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images.
As an Academy Award nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker, Ava DuVernay has proved that she is a force within the world of directing.Since starting as a showrunner on Queen Sugar, she directed the massive Disney feature A Wrinkle In Time and is about to become the first Black woman to take on a film budgeted at over $100 million with DC Comics' The New Gods.
This past Thursday, Duvernay accepted the Woman of Vision award at the 30th annual Gloria Awards in New York City, which celebrates women's creative and technical achievements in media. During her acceptance speech, DuVernay shared a story of how a “friend,” a man and fellow member of the Directors Guild of America, once called to warn her that “there [had] been some complaints.” Apparently other directors were upset with the fact that she had hired female directors for Queen Sugar.
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She told her audience she responded to him with, “Thank you, friend, thank you for that call. I invite you to tell whoever is feeling discriminated against to sue me so that I can sue every studio that has left women out...’cause we can do this, if that’s what you want to do.”
Duvernay is merely doing what Hollywood has clearly not been able to do: give women more opportunities. Of the top 100 grossing films of 2017, women represented 8% of directors, 10% of writers, 2% of cinematographers, and 24% of producers. Where’s the uproar over this? According the Motion Picture Association of America, women make up 50% of moviegoers. By this point, in 2018, it should not come as a surprised when women call out the inequality in any industry, Hollywood has definitely proved it is not exempt.
DuVernay continued her speech and emphasized to her audience on the importance of women not only being invited into spaces that they have otherwise not been invited, but for them to be free to create their own. She is clearly unbothered by the tears of her fellow directors.
Season 3 of Queen Sugar will return with a two-night debut on Tuesday, May 29 and Wednesday, May 30 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on OWN.
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