"Unchain the women directors"

A billboard timed to the Oscars decries Hollywood's sexism.

Published February 7, 2006 1:20PM (EST)

As Broadsheet noted last week when the Oscar nominations were announced, this year really sucked for women in film. But at least the Guerrilla Girls -- along with an organization called MoviesbyWomen.com -- are making some noise about it. The groups raised $6,000 to erect a billboard at the busy Hollywood intersection at Sunset and Cahuenga (down the street from the Kodak theater where the Oscars will take place on March 5) that shows a shackled Kong-like creature in a hot pink evening gown with the screaming headline: "UNCHAIN THE WOMEN DIRECTORS!" Underneath are some truly abysmal statistics: Women directed only 7 percent of the top 200 films of 2005. No woman has ever won the Oscar for best director. And only three have been nominated.

The press release that announced the billboard, which will stay up until Oscar night, said it was an "effort to reveal the True Hollywood Story about the lack of women and people of color behind the scenes in the film industry." We hope Hollywood's male machers will ponder that message as they sit in traffic beneath the glare of Ms. Kong.

By Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

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