Next Week: A Reddit AMA With the Original Six

Join us for a discussion with the women who spearheaded the movement to hold Hollywood accountable for gender and racial discrimination—in the 1970s and '80s.
By Katie Kilkenny ,

Nell Cox, Joelle Dobrow, Lynne Littman, Vicki Hochberg, and Susan Nimoy at the 35th anniversary of the Women's Steering Committee, held at the Director's Guild of America. (Photo: Courtesy of Lynne Littman)

You'd have to be living under a rock—a rock situated in a very remote place with no access to Wi-Fi, 4G, or cable television—to be oblivious of Hollywood's gender problem. In 2015, women constituted only seven percent of directors, 11 percent of writers, and 23 percent of producers on the year's top-grossing 250 films. This even though women-centered films like The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect make boatloads of money and there's no shortage of eminently employable women filmmakers.

The dearth of women in Hollywood has been all over the news lately, but, as Rachel Syme reported in Pacific Standard last Friday, the fight against a discriminatory status quo goes back decades. In a 5,000-plus-word story, Syme profiled five members of the "Original Six"—the women who spearheaded landmark research starting in 1979 that built a case for a 1983 lawsuit against Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures. Their story is, as Syme says, crucial for understanding how "the situation for women in Hollywood actually got much better before it got worse again."

To continue this important conversation (and in response to the sheer volume of your tweets!), we're holding a Reddit AMA with members of the Original Six next Thursday, March 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. EST on /r/IAmA. Have a question about what it was like being a woman director in Hollywood in the '70s? How about the conditions for women in the industry today? Bring them to Reddit next week. We can't wait to hear from you.