LOS ANGELES >> The director of "Bridesmaids," "Spy" and the upcoming "Ghostbusters" remake says he would add an equity clause to his future film contracts that requires gender-balanced casting of minor roles.
Paul Feig said he supports such efforts to push the movie business toward gender parity.
"I think we need to set these things in stone so it forces everybody to think that way," he told The Associated Press.
Feig was part of a panel discussion Wednesday night at the actors' union Los Angeles headquarters about Hollywood's gender bias. The talk with actress Maria Bello, directors Caroline Suh and Tina Mabry, and University of Southern California professor Stacy L. Smith followed a screening of the short documentary "The 4%: Film's Gender Problem." The film's title refers to the number of top movies directed by women over the past dozen years.
Smith, whose studies on gender and Hollywood informed the documentary, suggested A-list stars consider an equity clause in their contracts so that some movies might reflect real-world demography. Her research found that women represented 30 percent of speaking roles in the films of 2014.
Bello said she is part of an effort to develop a "gender parity stamp" to recognize productions that are actively increasing opportunities for women on both sides of the camera.
Research shows women are half of film-school students and movie ticket buyers — not to mention the human population — yet play the lead in just one in five films and are outnumbered by male directors 23 to one.
The documentary, directed by Suh and available on-demand on EPIX, includes interviews with such filmmakers as Catherine Hardwicke, Lake Bell, Anjelica Huston and Julie Delpy, who says: "The next Kubrick, in no one's mind, is a woman."