Felicity Chaplin reviews 'Women vs Hollywood: The fall and rise of women in film' by Helen O’Hara: A rigged game: Hollywood’s long history of misogyny

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n recent years, Hollywood has been forced to take a long hard look at itself. Since Alyssa Milano popularised the hashtag #MeToo in 2017, and the Time’s Up movement was launched in 2018, women in the film industry have been sharing their stories of sexism, discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Film critic Helen O’Hara’s Women vs Hollywood is not the first attempt at a revisionist history of the Hollywood film industry. Several books have appeared that reread Hollywood through a feminist lens: Laura L.S. Bauer’s Hollywood Heroines: The most influential women in film history (2018), Jill Tietjen and Barbara Bridges’ Hollywood: Her story, an illustrated history of women and the movies (2019), and Naomi McDougall Jones’s The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside our revolution to dismantle the gods of Hollywood (2020). They share the view, as O’Hara’s opening observation puts it, that ‘the Hollywood dream has not been open to everyone and, with a large majority of roles and senior jobs going to men, its scales have often been tilted against women’. Hollywood is – or has been for a long time – a ‘rigged game’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
VolumeJune 2021
Specialist publicationAustralian Book Review
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

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