The Hollywood Reporter's president and chief creative officer Janice Min announced yesterday that its annual ranking of the most powerful women in Hollywood just doesn't make sense for 2015. So Min is abolishing the ranked list that pits women against each other, in light of Hollywood's notorious pay gap and the fact that the number of female executives in film studios and female film directors is so alarmingly low that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has opened an investigation into gender discrimination in Hollywood.
"But right here, right now, the moment feels wrong to host a female cage match," Min wrote yesterday on THR's site. The Women in Entertainment Power 100 list was created in 1992 as a celebration of women in Hollywood, but Min describes why it isn't serving its goal today.
And yet today, in legend and reality, women fight for position on these lists in ways that don't always make them, or us, comfortable. THR's Power 100 list, by its nature, pits the town's most impressive females against one another. I can't help but think of a telling passage I read from [Sherry] Lansing's upcoming biography that describes her ascension in an era when men felt there was room for just one alpha woman at a time at the studios.
I've come to believe that something as simple as our ranked women's lists contributes to keeping that sense alive, that we accidentally created a beauty pageant of brains where only one woman gets crowned. Some women have publicly cried upon seeing their rankings. That is funny to some people. But it's depressing as hell to me.
Both The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard will stop ranking women in power, and instead The Hollywood Reporter will roll out a single annual class of a Power 100, with a single Power 50 list for Billboard. THR will also create a ranked list of entertainment's most powerful people, as in men and women, in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the magazine's relaunch.
"Will this change make an impact? I don't know. I keep thinking about the Latin origin of the word compete: competere, which means 'to come together.' As part of this decision, I challenge the groups of women we cover, who create content, who move billions of dollars of business, to work together," Min writes.