Fusion’s Alicia Menendez recently sat down with Jill Soloway, who is known for creating, writing, executive producing and directing the Amazon original series Transparent–season two of which debuts on Friday, December 11. Soloway was candid about the oppressive atmosphere in the entertainment business right now, saying:
Women’s stories aren’t valued, women aren’t valued… We live in a culture that was created by straight white men and for straight white men. And most of the stories out there in the world are created by straight white men, for straight white men.
Data shows that Hollywood has a problem with diversity. Writing jobs go to white guys. When it comes to women working behind the scenes, the numbers are dismal, and movies mostly ignore women, Latinos, Asians and black people. The Emmy-winning writer went on to break it down even more:
And even when women get their hands on a camera—or people of color, or queer people get their hands on either the camera or the script—there is some place, where along the way, there is a straight white man who’s gonna go, ‘I don’t like that. She’s not likable. That’s a little bit scary to me. Ooh that’s weird. You’re going to need to change that–to make me comfortable.’
Although Soloway has found success in TV—she worked on Six Feet Under before creating her own series—she still feels that we’ve got a long way to go, as a society:
What people don’t understand is that even though these small strides are being made, we live in a culture where people have been living on stories about men by men, meant to create empathy for men, for hundreds of years. So we are soooooo far behind.
She insists that modern entertainment has been “teaching women to compete for male attention for power, teaching women to look a certain way, to behave a certain way, to get access to male power.” And she notes that this toxicity is embedded: “This is how we were raised.”