Blumhouse founder Jason Blum apologizes with an official statement for his comments in a recent interview where he tried to explain why none of the production house's horror movies are directed by women; the original comments garnered a great deal of criticism on social media.
While casual moviegoers may be mostly familiar with Blumhouse Productions, Blum may be an unrecognizable name to those outside the horror genre. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Blum worked under Harvey Weinstein at Warner Brothers before embarking on a career as a feature film producer. In 2000, he established Blumhouse Productions and has since become known for making innovative, low-budget horror films that translate to big profits at the box office. The 2009 film Paranormal Activity was produced for a mere $15,000 but ultimately grossed nearly $200 million. This past decade, Blumhouse has produced five highly successful sequels, along with various franchise starters like Insidious (2010), The Purge (2013), and Sinister (2012).
Yesterday, Blum used his personal Twitter to apologize for his statements in a recent Polygon interview with Matt Patches. The article’s title references that Blumhouse Productions has never produced a female-directed horror film, and Blum’s response garnered criticism on social media, specifically this statement: “There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror.” Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for female directors to voice their dissent on Twitter, including Lauren Wolkstein, the Soska sisters, and many others. The most common reaction seems to be that Blum merely isn’t looking hard enough, and his official statement concludes with the line: “I will do better.” Read his full apology below.
In the apology, in which Blum admits to making “dumb” comments, he notes that more than 50 percent of the company’s audience is female, and more than 50 percent of Blumhouse Productions’ executives are women. The statement arrived on the same day that Polygon published their interview, suggesting that Blum does indeed take the feedback seriously, and hopes to diversify his creative pool with more female filmmakers.
While Blumhouse Productions is commonly associated with horror, Blum and company have also produced films like Whiplash (2014) and Get Out (2017), both of which earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture, with the latter sparking discussions about modern definitions of “horror.” Blumhouse’s latest hit is the Spike Lee 2018 drama BlacKkKlansman, a $15 million film that earned over $80 million in theaters and will likely receive at least one Oscar nomination. This weekend, Blumhouse’s Halloween will receive a wide theatrical release.
While Blum’s statements about female directors may have surprised some, the conversation around diversifying talent behind the camera in Hollywood has been going on for some time. And there's no doubt the topic will continue to spark heated conversations, and with good reason.
Source: Jason Blum/Twitter