How Can Women Gain Influence in Hollywood?

I wrote my first piece for the NY Times the other day -- and it's up now! I was fortunate enough to be asked to be the lone male voice in the "Room For Debate" on How Can Women Gain Influence In Hollywood. It's an excellent discussion and a great group of commentators. It's also a question that action is not taken on enough. My piece begins:

Mainstream mass-market film culture is stuck in a deep rut. When making money is the top priority, people produce work and hire people who keep them in power. Call it risk mitigation or cowardice, the lack of women in Hollywood comes from the same root.

Industries are like people: they change only when the pain of the present outweighs the fear of the future. The stakes may be too great for Hollywood to ever accept that audiences and communities want something other than what they have already had. If audiences continue to behave like the March Hare in “Alice in Wonderland,” confusing "I like what I get" for “I get what I like,” neither films nor the entities that produce them will evolve.

Leadership is required to recognize that “When Harry Met Sally,” "Bridesmaids" and "Lost in Translation" are not outliers, but clear indicators of vast communities of underserved audiences. Unfortunately, the movie industry is designed to follow the competitor, creating perpetually redundant stories, creators and executives. The entire film business remains predicated on antiquated concepts of scarcity of content and control thereof. It should instead get ambitious and start to redesign itself for today’s reality of super-abundance of — and total access to — hugely varied content.

Please read the rest of it here.  And read all the pieces.