During a Q&A session with director Leslie Harris at the New York Film Festival on Sunday, the usually outspoken Michael Moore expressed his thoughts on Hollywood’s much-discussed diversity problem.
“This is absolutely wrong,” Moore said of the industry’s lack of opportunity for women directors, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m missing out on her story. Their stories. That person,” he continued. “What are the great films that you and I are missing because their great voices can’t be heard? I want to go to that movie. I want to hear that voice. I’m being denied that voice by a system that’s sent out to give the reins to white men.”
Moore felt particularly incensed by a statistic from a University of Southern California study on Hollywood diversity: Of the top 100 films in 2014, only 1.9 percent were directed by women.
“I’m telling you, anthropologists are not gonna look kindly on us. We’re gonna look like Neanderthals,” he stated. “It’s a form of apartheid, folks, when a minority controls everything and the majority gets a bone thrown to them.”
While comparing the representational state of affairs in the film industry to brutally enforced racially discriminatory policies in government is a bit far-fetched, Moore’s comments come at a time when an increasing number of actors and industry insiders are calling for better representation both behind the camera and in front of it. Which all makes us wonder: What will it take for studio executives to start listening?