Actress Eva Longoria has highlighted the disparities in the film industry, expressing her frustration that white male directors can fail with a major blockbuster and still receive another opportunity while women like her struggle to get a chance.
Longoria shared her thoughts during her talk at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Kering Women in Motion event.
Reflecting on her experience directing the movie ‘Flamin’ Hot,’ she emphasized the challenges Latina directors challenges in securing projects.
Longoria stated, “We don’t get a lot of bites at the apple. My movie wasn’t low-budget by any means—it wasn’t $100 million, but it wasn’t $2 million. When was the last Latina-directed studio film? It was like 20 years ago. We can’t get a movie every 20 years.”
Longoria determined to overcome the ‘double standard’ in Hollywood
She pointed out what she sees as a double standard, where a white male director can fail with a $200 million film and still receive another opportunity. In contrast, women and minority directors are not afforded the same luxury.
Longoria expressed her determination to overcome these obstacles, working twice as hard and twice as fast to prove herself.
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Longoria commended for her efforts in promoting diversity
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, a professor, and researcher at USC Annenberg, commended Longoria for her efforts in promoting diversity in the entertainment industry.
Smith emphasized the importance of representation in front of and behind the camera, highlighting the need to tell untold stories and provide opportunities for underrepresented groups.
Inclusion, a metric for success, Eva points out
Longoria raised the issue of measuring success in the industry, noting that while some studios make token gestures by hiring a few more women behind the camera, the progress still needs to be improved.
She emphasized the significance of inclusion as a metric for success and urged Hollywood to adopt a more comprehensive approach.
Films can only succeed with support from Latino audience
Focusing on the Latino audience, Longoria stressed the importance of catering to their preferences.
She revealed that 28% of ticket buyers are Latino and emphasized that films can only succeed with their support.
Longoria cited the examples of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Fast and the Furious,” which attracted a significant Latino audience, underscoring the need for content that resonates with this demographic.
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Latinos underrepresented ‘in front’ of and ‘behind the camera’
Longoria also highlighted the ongoing underrepresentation of Latinos both in front of and behind the camera.
She pointed out that despite some progress, the data shows that the industry still has a long way to go regarding inclusivity.
Eva speaks up about the unfair treatment of directors
Longoria’s sentiments about the unfair treatment of directors following a box office flop resonated with the aftermath of Ava DuVernay’s film “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Critics, like Inkoo Kang of The Hollywood Reporter, highlighted the burdensome expectations placed on DuVernay and the film due to its diverse cast, emphasizing the rigidity of the industry’s standards.
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Eva calls for ‘industry-wide’ changes and more representation
In her speech, Eva Longoria brought attention to the unequal opportunities faced by women and minority directors in Hollywood.
She called for industry-wide changes, including increased representation, a more comprehensive measurement of success, and a focus on catering to diverse audiences.