The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just announced that it is launching an investigation into the dearth of female directors in Hollywood. According to the Director’s Guild of America, women receive only 16% of the episodic TV directing jobs, and directed less than 5% of all major studio releases last year. Stats for writers and producers are bleak as well.
Studies have also shown that when women aren’t represented well behind the camera, they aren’t represented well in front of the camera. My project, 14 Days of Funny, combats this. Yes, it may just be a drop in the bucket, but I think that it’s a pretty awesome one.
The project, produced by me and written and directed by women, presents a kaleidoscope of images through fourteen comedic videos—each ranging from 15 seconds to 3 minutes—all told from my perspective as a black woman / a woman who happens to be black. The videos include music video parodies, character monologues and comedic commentary on current events. Some videos tackle racism; others confront sexism. Others are purely for laughs. What they all have in common is that they are distinctly pro-woman.
Imagine having tea with Anna Mae, an eighty-three year-old woman who talks about sex incessantly, commenting on the Kardashians. Imagine a Southern black woman, Susie V., who is “racist” towards her own people. Imagine a music video where women promote their brains instead of their bodies. They don business suits and cap and gowns, singing, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was smart like me? Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a geek like me?”
The video parodies "Don't Cha," a popular song from the ‘90s by the Pussy Cat Dolls. It challenges the idea that what makes women desirable is their sexuality and asks, “What if women were valued for their intellect and contributions to society instead of their dress size?”
As women take strides in the media, I’m eager for 14 Days of Funny to spread the message: #Smartisthenewsexy
Funded by LA South Bay, CA (November 2015)