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Hollywood execs held a secret meeting to discuss gender inequality

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Dozens of big names in the entertainment industry held a secret meeting in October to devise a plan to begin fixing the gender imbalance in Hollywood, Deadline reports. Over the course of two days, 44 executives, directors, and producers came up with a proposal to address systemic issues of gender inequality on and off screen.

Among the attendees at the event, which was hosted by the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles, were HBO Films president Len Amato, Dreamworks Animation co-president Bonnie Arnold, producers Paula Wagner and Mike De Luca, director Catherine Hardwick, and showrunner Jenji Kohan.

Four points, 44 people

The meeting resulted in the creation of a four-point plan:

  • Raise awareness of "unconscious bias" in the industry. An educator will work with leaders in the industry to identify missed opportunities and deeply ingrained bias towards women and people of color, so that it can be dealt with and potentially avoided.
  • Create a fellowship program where talented women early-to-mid career will receive training from others in the industry who can help them advance. The program won't be relegated to one studio, as some other fellowships are, rather protégés will be encouraged to work with different agencies and studios across the field.
  • Launch a "Gender Parity Stamp" to label films, TV shows, studios, and networks that have shown "measurable progress" in fighting gender inequality. Similar to GLAAD's yearly inclusivity reports, which recognize progress made in the LGBT community, these stamps will be a visual signifier of progress (or lack thereof), according to Deadline.
  • Lastly, the advocates of the plan must remain committed and continue to grow the community of people in Hollywood trying to implement change.

Some of these points, like the Gender Parity Stamp, are just proposals for now, and it's unclear when exactly some parts of the plan (like the protégé program) will be implemented. But the mere existence of the meeting at least implies some kind of mutual agreement in Hollywood that gender inequality is an issue that needs to be taken seriously.