A new film will examine Hollywood’s gender bias through personal stories, leading research, and celebrity accounts. David Yurman is joining executive producer and Academy Award- winning actor and advocate Geena Davis in the upcoming feature-length documentary ‘Gender In Hollywood’ (working title).
The film examines Hollywood’s gender bias through first-hand accounts from some of Hollywood’s leading industry professionals both in front of and behind the camera, shining a spotlight on the broader effects of bias on consumers of entertainment around the globe.
“David Yurman (pictured with his wife Sybil, above) is committed to helping raise awareness about the need for gender parity, and is honored to be a part of the documentary, which is a powerful platform to spread this message,” said David Yurman. “It is a natural fit.”
The David Yurman brand has long been a proponent of female empowerment. 75 percent of the David Yurman executive committee are women, and the company is almost 70 percent female.
“We are a company of women, led by women and co-founded by a woman,” said Sybil Yurman, co-founder David Yurman. “Since 1980 we have strived to elevate and celebrate women throughout all levels of the company.”
Through the candid testimony of high-profile actors, directors and studio executives, the film connects the dots between the disparity onscreen and the lack of opportunity women face behind the scenes, telling the story of systemic discrimination throughout Hollywood’s history. Interviewees include Geena Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Jessica Chastain, Zoe Saldana, Judd Apatow, Yara Shahidi, Paul Feig, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gillian Anderson, Jackie Cruz, Sharon Stone, Alan Alda, and Lena Dunham.
Cutting-edge data from The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is used to support the narrative of the film. The institute is the only research-based organization working behind the scenes in the media and entertainment industry to influence the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children.
“Unconscious gender bias directly correlates to the way women are represented on screen,” said Geena Davis. “When we look at how this documentary will add to the discussion about gender inequality, we hope one of the key takeaways is that a solution is only possible if both women and men in this industry work together to create change.”
Ku-Ling Yurman, independent filmmaker and daughter-in-law of David and Sybil, will act as an executive producer on the film. An alum of the American Film Institute, Ku-Ling has taken on many roles in the television/film industry.
“I first experienced institutionalized inequality when I was in film school, and quickly realized it spans all industries,” said Ku-Ling Yurman. “Our objective with this documentary is to bring about actual change. We have a collective responsibility to take ownership of this issue and activate a higher standard for gender equality.”
The film is directed by Tom Donahue (Casting By, Thank You for Your Service) and produced by CreativeChaos vmg and New Plot Films in association with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Artemis Rising Foundation. Filming began in 2016.
In addition to Geena Davis and Ku-Ling Yurman, Regina K. Scully, Madeline Di Nonno, Steve Edwards, Patty Casby, and Jennie Peters are executive producers on the film. Ilan Arboleda and Kerianne Flynn are set to produce.
“Since we started the film a year and a half ago, we have conducted more than 100 interviews with some of the leading voices on the issue both inside and outside of Hollywood. Their candid testimony has not only detailed the systemic roadblocks that women face as storytellers and artists in Hollywood, but also has illuminated possible pathways toward lasting parity, “said director Tom Donahue.