Why the Emmy nominations highlight the Hollywood gender gap

Need more proof it's still going strong? Let's take a look

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Countless actresses have come forward this year to discuss the disparity in the treatment of women in Hollywood compared to their male counterparts – Gal Gadot was paid significantly less for Wonder Woman than men who have been part of similar action franchises, Elisabeth Moss was told her ideas were ‘too female’ by sexist execs and Emmy Rossum was asked to audition in a bikini to show a director if she was ‘fat now’.

As if we needed any more proof that the gender balance is totally out of whack in Hollywood, the Emmys 2017 nominations were released.

Not one solo female creator or showrunner was nominated in the best comedy and best drama categories – and there are 14 TV series in the running. While some may defend the decision with a: ‘But there are less women in those roles, so obviously!’ let’s take a closer look at who was and wasn’t nominated.

This year, new female-led shows like Insecure, I Love Dick, Queen Sugar and One Day at a Time received rave reviews from critics. Jilly Soloway’s Transparent has been a huge success for three years. And yet, none of them were nominated.

No women were put forward for writing or directing a limited series, either.

big little lies

Credit: HBO

What about some of this year’s HUGE TV shows that are female-led? Big Little Lies? A Handmaid’s Tale? They are both based on novels written by women, and they’ve received nominations. For good reason, too – they’re both exceptional examples of successful TV dramas that have women at the fore.

But while actresses take the reigns in front of the camera, and women originally birthed the concepts, both shows were actually developed and directed by men – so if they win in their category, it won’t be these women taking home the glory.

Women are marginally more represented in the nominations if you take a look at shows that were co-created by a man and a woman – Tina Fey and Robert Carlock got a well-deserved nod for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are recognised for Westworld.

There is one positive outcome from the Emmy’s nomination list, though. Remember how Barb in Stranger Things was cut from the show way too soon? Shannon Purser, the actress who plays the bespectacled third wheel, has been nominated for the Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series award.

Finally, #JusticeForBarb.

As for all the other women in Hollywood – sadly, not so much.

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