Maria Giese, Chair

During the 2017 Summit Gillian Thomas (ACLU Women’s Rights Project) & Kalpana Kotagal (Attorney, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll) gave a presentation to provide a frame for action entitled “Women, the Industry & the Law.”  This fascinating overview described prior efforts to address discrimination against women in Hollywood, and the current prospects for reform.  The session included a primer on federal and state law, as well as discussion of possible tools for effecting change—including litigation, government tax credits for diverse hiring, media outreach, and other organized action. 

Thomas and Kotagal also explained the origins of the ACLU’s 2015 letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission calling for a federal investigation into discrimination against women directors, the current status of that effort, and potential outcomes. This presentation set the stage for possible legal remedies for discrimination, and provided a frame for brainstorming the most effective advocacy strategies during the breakout discussions.

Based on this, WeMAC presents the LITIGATION COMMITTEE.  The purpose of this committee is to instigate legal action to remedy and evolve the existing patriarchal power structures in Hollywood that keep women marginalized. 

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