Artist RightsIdeas/Commentary

For The Second Year In A Row, Women Will Not Direct Any Major Animation Releases in 2018

At the highest creative level of U.S. feature animation, women continue to be systemically excluded from any opportunities to direct animated features.

For the second year in a row – and the fifth time in nine years – every single major U.S. animation release in 2018 (for our purposes, that’s films screening in over 1,000 theaters at the same time) will be directed by a man.

In the decade so far (2010-2018), 103 out of 104 major animated releases will have had at least one male animation director, which means that men are involved in the direction of over 99% of all the animated films produced by the Hollywood entertainment conglomerates—Disney, Dreamworks, Universal, Warner Bros., Fox, et al. The lone feature among the 104 films that was directed solely by a women was Kung Fu Panda 2, helmed by Jennifer Yuh.

Here’s our analysis of major animation releases in the United States this decade:

Animated features directed in 2010s.

Ninety-nine percent is an irrefutable statistic. This is not a mere matter of underrepresentation, but of systemic gender bias in the U.S. animation industry, an issue that we’ve discussed at greater length in the past.

The situation is especially striking in view of what is happening in the global animation industry. Take a look, for example, at the 26 animated features submitted this year for Academy Award consideration. While all 11 of the American features submitted were directed by men, five of the fifteen foreign features had women directors, including three that had solo women directors.

Who knows when things will finally change, but from our perspective, there does not seem to be any end in sight to the American industry’s extreme bias toward men in a directorial capacity.

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