Dame Helen Mirren: ‘Hollywood worships young men’

Dame Helen Mirren has condemned film-makers for aiming movies at young men, saying Hollywood “continues to worship at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male and his penis”.

It’s hard to argue with her point. Hollywood most certainly caters to adolescent males. I’d be even more specific: immature and uneducated 18- to 25-year-old males. Which suggests to me that there’s a huge opportunity here for a studio that wanted to cater to women and/or smarter, more educated adults in general. Those films get made, but they most often get relegated to the tiny two-screen houses in the snobby part of town. Give those films a real push in the media, get them on more screens, and I think you could really make some money.

Mirren also notes that the situation is certainly improving, though not quickly enough. I don’t think we’ll see a real change in this situation until we allow more female directors and more female writers opportunities to get into the business. Men are going to make movies about men, for the most part. They do what’s familiar to them. It’s not a vindictive thing; they’re just sticking to what they know.

Maybe eventually we’ll get some female studio executives and owners? That would certainly shake things up a bit.

Get that idea into a billionaire like Oprah’s head, and you’re on your way.