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2017 Was a Great Year for Women in Hollywood

'Weinstein-gate' and Beyond

Despite glimpses of a more gender-balanced Hollywood on the horizon, 2017 was by no means an auto-fix button for equality. Touching back on Patty Jenkins becoming the highest-paid female director of all time, the process was hardly simple. After Wonder Woman’s success, Jenkins' desire for higher pay was an uphill battle; and though it was an uphill battle she ultimately won, it was one that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. The deal took over three months before Warner Bros finally confirmed her return for Wonder Woman 2.

On a much broader topic, Hollywood's most notorious story in 2017 was the string of sexual abuse accusations sweeping through the industry. The whole ordeal opened up a floodgate, exposing a number of a celebrities for their sexual misconduct, but most of all allowing victims to finally have a voice; to not feel trapped behind the scenes and helpless in their silence.

Starting with Harvey Weinstein, these revelations echoed a much darker corner of the entertainment industry, harkening all the way back to the film industry’s earliest eras; back to the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood, where celebrity status was American royalty and everyone from actors to producers could arguably do no wrong. The whole “casting couch” concept could be passed off as an inside joke, but in truth, it referred to a deep-seated Hollywood tradition that essentially told young aspiring actresses to expect worst case scenarios in pursuit of stardom.

In touching on the successes that women in Hollywood have achieved, it would be a disservice to leave out the destructive abuses that have driven off so much potential talent, and leeched off those who persisted for decades. That said, some good is coming from the bad; individuals who have abused their power have already been blacklisted from the industry, with their reputations destroyed. Unfortunate though it is that this issue has to exist in the first place, 2017 has been a year that turned the tides, even leading to TIME recognizing “The Silence Breakers,” as well as those involved in the #MeToo movement, as a collective Person of the Year. There will always be work to be done, and this sort of past can never be forgiven, but it is, at the very least, a start.

How 2018 Will Pick Up From 2017

While 2017 turned the tides for women in Hollywood, 2018 shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the future appears brighter than ever. The gender scale is balancing, women are proving through opportunity that they have just as much to offer as men, and any individual who ever took advantage of a burgeoning actress is no doubt shaking in his boots. Last year, seeds were planted, so expect to see budding changes hit the ground running in 2018.

This year, Ava DuVernay directs Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time; Evangeline Lilly shares the title spot with co-star Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp; Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander reboots the Tomb Raider series; Ocean’s 8 gives the Ocean’s series an all-female spin. Basically, there's reason to hope for a more women-friendly Hollywood from here on out.

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Which female-led movie of 2018 are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments!

More: The Biggest Box Office Hits of 2017

Key Release Dates
  • A Wrinkle In Time (2018) release date: Mar 09, 2018
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Tomb Raider (2018) release date: Mar 16, 2018
  • Ocean's 8/Ocean's Eight (2018) release date: Jun 08, 2018
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