Advanced search

Amnesty TV launches with 11 men and 0 women on its production team

(127 Posts)
Bidisha Sun 24-Jul-11 02:13:31

Is this really a product by the same charity that tells us "Women's rights are human rights" on its web site?

MrsReasonable Sun 24-Jul-11 03:37:52

Hmm, this smacks of little of trying to get angry about something. They're only two episodes in, after all. Positive discrimination just doesn't fly in creative areas.

skrumle Sun 24-Jul-11 08:33:13

"Positive discrimination just doesn't fly in creative areas."

really?? and why does it need to be positive discrimination rather than just an attempt to ensure that different voices are able to be heard? to me the initial list reads as though someone called up their pals - who all just happen to be men...

LeninGrad Sun 24-Jul-11 09:34:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

msrisotto Sun 24-Jul-11 20:28:52

It isn't us trying to get angry. It's an insult to women that they looked for the best production team and excluded 51% of the population as not as good as 49%.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sun 24-Jul-11 21:31:58

Well someone's doing positive discrimination, in favour of men, so it obviously DOES fly.

It's just that that is the accepted status quo.

DontCallMePeanut Sun 24-Jul-11 21:36:52

"positive discrimination"? Doesn't fly?

Y'know, women are under-represented in media, especially such as film and tv. Last year was the first time ever a female director had won an Oscar. We prefer to keep the women on the screen, performing scripts written by male writers, produced by male producers, edited by male editors, and cast in the role of tropes.

And you don't have a problem with that?

I do. Maybe it's because it's the area I want to work in post-graduation, but it bugs me. It bugs me that 60% of my coursemates will have to work harder to get into their career choice, because they're female. It bugs me that male directors, producers and editors earn more on average, something which is argued as being a result of quality oof work, not gender. It bugs me that female directors, writers and producers are discredited by audiences, often before they give the film a chance.

Now tell me we're getting angry over nothing...

MrsReasonable Sun 24-Jul-11 22:31:23

DCMP So once you start work in the area, would you rather be hired due to your CV and talent, or your genitalia?

There is a big problem with glass ceilings in media, I agree - a related Bidisha post is very revealing - but Amnesty TV didn't install those ceilings, nor do they have a particular duty to smash them (imo).

Their goal is to bring together "an all-star list of journalists, comedians, cartoonists, filmmakers and pranksters to produce the show": it's not their fault that relatively few women manage to break through to 'all-star' status.

Putting a production team together based on their characteristics, and not their creativity, is ridiculous, and that way lies even more accusations of inequality ("Oh, men and women, but no Asians?", "Oh, men and women of various races, but no disabled people?", etc.)
I expect the team was put together because work they produced in the past was similar to what was wanted on this project, or that they're recommended by others hired for that reason.

Also, the claim that an all-male team making comedy Youtube videos is "a smack in the face for all activists and human rights workers" is ludicrous, and borderline offensive - as if Iranian female students or Jordanian migrant workers care that a sketch was written by men, and not men and women.

DontCallMePeanut Sun 24-Jul-11 22:41:35

I'd rather be hired due to my CV. My point was it is harder for a female to build up a CV in the industry. Are you really telling me that AI couldn't find credible female production team memers?

Also, are you telling me they couldn't buck the trend and use up and coming stars, thus being more likely to give a woman or two a role?

HerBeX Sun 24-Jul-11 23:34:02

MrsR, men have better CV's because of their genitals.

That's why they're hired.

" Amnesty TV didn't install those ceilings, nor do they have a particular duty to smash them (imo)"

Of course they do. They're an organisation dedicated to human rights. Having women's voices heard, is a global human rights issue. Amnesty know that, they've said it, they've campaigned on it. And then when it comes to their own products, they make sure that women's voices are not heard.

It's unbelievable actually.

MrsReasonable Sun 24-Jul-11 23:42:59

"Of course they do. They're an organisation dedicated to human rights."

Amnesty has finite resources - the gender balance of their comedy writers should be pretty far down the list of priorities.

DontCallMePeanut Sun 24-Jul-11 23:49:28

Sorry, they should be sticking to the morals they preach. The gender balance should be pretty high up the list... Along with other representations. (race, religion, disabilities etc)

HerBeX Sun 24-Jul-11 23:53:35

Um, discrimination against half the human race, is one of the most important human rights issues there is actually. It should be at the top of Amnesty's list, not far down the priority list after all the men's rights have been solved.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sun 24-Jul-11 23:53:53

I really really hate this assumption that all men lists = meritocracy. Men better than women? No.

I'll say it again for the hard of thinking. If a (quite long) list of people hired to do a job are all of the same sex, especially in an industry where there is a good mix of genders, positive discrimination is at work. Should men be hired just for having cocks? No. So is this list an example of positive discrimination? Yes. In favour of men. The only alternative explanation is that there are no good women to do the job, which is just bullshit frankly.

Am so angry, Amnesty is the one organisation that I donate to. I am fed up with hearing men's voices and men's voices alone - it means crucial things are missed. Seriously, they have dropped the (hur hur) ball on this.

ifancyashandy Mon 25-Jul-11 13:26:52

I work in this industry. Have to say that in my experience it's an industry where women do well, hold many senior positions and are as respected as men. Granted, I have experienced sexism but it tends to come from 'old school' men, who've been working for years but they are thankfully few and far between, IME.

I'm management, I employ / hire & fire and it's always based on best person for the job.

Amnesty should have approached me to put the team together!

KRIKRI Mon 25-Jul-11 13:28:49

It sounds as though Amnesty had an opportunity to put their ideals into action in a very visible way, and blew the chance. Did they think no one would notice? Did they just not think? It just makes one question just how genuinely embedded those ideals of social justice are within the structure and culture of the organisation if this was the result.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 25-Jul-11 14:50:38

Contacts page here

No one is answering their phone, though.

Bidisha Mon 25-Jul-11 15:48:39


This morning Neil Boorman, one of the Gang of Eleven, emailed me with a polite message. I replied to him and have now put both messages, unedited, at the bottom of the article.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 25-Jul-11 15:57:07

Good response by you.

Love the suggestion that you might want to help "the team" by contributing your ideas etc. Er, why would you want to do that?!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 25-Jul-11 17:58:22

If anyone wants to get in touch then you can do so:

■Call on +44 (0)20 7033 1777
■Text on +44 (0)20 7033 1664
■Write to us at Amnesty International UK Section Charitable Trust, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA

I just spoke to a really helpful woman there who says there will be a response soon. She "got it", especially the fact that it's not the content but the team involved that is problematic, that women's voices are essential, and that it's shocking that even Amnesty can just let this happen without thinking.

Anyone else who's annoyed please get in touch (phone/email) because they're logging all responses and will put them in front of the board. Don't forget to mention if you're a donor.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 25-Jul-11 17:58:41

Sorry copy and paste being a bugger there.

floyjoy Mon 25-Jul-11 18:30:26

Excellent piece. It's so depressing but at least they're getting repsonses now.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 26-Jul-11 12:29:59

Anyone else been in touch with them?

camaleon Wed 27-Jul-11 12:03:21

I have sent this to someone working for AI precisely on gender and pluralism. I am sure she will pick up the fight! Thank you for this Bidisha

ajaybaines Wed 27-Jul-11 13:15:36

This is so shocking coming from AI! And really sad too sad

It's everywhere isn't it? It really is.

<depressed mother of two daughters>

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: