The 2015 Emmys were celebrated as a huge victory for women. In his opening monologue, host Andy Samberg accidentally-on-purpose confused "wage gap" and "age gap" between men and women to call out Hollywood's problem with both of those things. Amy Schumer's sketch comedy show beat a bunch of guys, while director Jill Soloway's "Transparent" also won big. Viola Davis made history.
While this is progress, though, it's more of a small battle in a larger war for gender parity.
Women of every color, of course, are still vastly underrepresented all over Hollywood -- behind the camera as well as in front of it. A 2015 study by the Women's Media Center revealed a striking gender imbalance among Emmy nominees in writing, directing, editing and producing categories in the past 10 years. Looking at nearly 50 subcategories, researchers found that women received just 22 percent of nominations over the past decade. The numbers were particularly bleak in directing categories, where women comprised just 8 percent of nominees.
But we already knew Hollywood sucked for women. This year was supposed to be better!
Except it hasn't been -- not really. While individual women have (very deservedly) triumphed this awards season, the broader picture is still just as disappointing as ever.
The Huffington Post looked at the same writing, directing, editing and producing categories as the Women's Media Center -- everything from Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series to Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series Or Movie -- for this year alone. Out of all 2015 nominations in these categories, only 26 percent were given to women. That's better than the last decade as a whole, but not by much.
But maybe equality reigned in the winner's circle?
Nah. Out of 230 awards in these behind-the-scenes categories, women received just 72 of them -- a little less than one-third.
And until there's gender parity behind the camera, don't expect to see gender parity in front of it. A 2015 study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University pinpointed exactly why all of this matters. Researchers found that shows executive-produced or created by women also included more women writing scripts and playing onscreen roles. In other words, when executives unlock doors for women in the industry, women will hold them open for others. And when they don't, well, nothing changes.
Hollywood put on a great show this year. Maybe the 2016 Emmys will be a real victory for gender equality.
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