“Inside The Persistent Boys Club Of Animation”

“Animation professionals interviewed for this article knew the conventional wisdom: “Boys’ shows are general audience and girls’ shows are niche,” parroted Sabrina Cotugno, a storyboard artist in her twenties, during a Skype interview. Following convention, when Cartoon Network announced its 14 new and returning original series for the 2015–2016 season, only three featured a female protagonist…
Gennis said the school’s administrators told her to get a job in ink and paint to get her career started, but she did not want to be pigeonholed. (CalArts did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for a comment.) Instead, she got a job at Robert Abel and Associates, where she worked her way up to commercial director. Around 1980, despite the promotion, she was still “getting the jobs no one else wanted.” She recalled asking the creative director when she would get to work on the high-end commercials; he answered, “When you grow a penis.”
In a way, Gennis appreciated his honesty; no one would say that in so many words to her today, although she feels it’s sometimes the truth. “It’s all still there, but it’s all gone underground,” she said. Still, Gennis recently posted something on Facebook about the very small number of women working as technical directors and artists in visual effects. A male Facebook friend who works in VFX “actually posted that it was because VFX had gotten so technical,” Gennis said with disgust…
“I wanted to be a director — wanted to be and want to be,” said Holliday. Most recently a storybook artist on Disney Junior’s Sofia the First, she spent years struggling to assert herself professionally. At one point, a female colleague in development asked her about her career goals, and Holliday gave a response in upspeak: “I think I want to direct?” As she explained it, “I could never get to the point of saying, ‘This is what I want,’ because it felt like I was being demanding.” Instead, she had to learn how to say what she wanted “without being strident, because I think sometimes I can be shrill.”…
In a class at CalArts, Cotugno recalled, an instructor lectured on the difference between “feminine” and “masculine” story elements — “which is a little hard to describe, mostly because it’s fucking bullshit,” she said. Elements such as linear storytelling and big external stakes were “for men,” while relationships and emotional storylines were “for women.”
The strained understanding of female characters was thrust into the public eye in 2013, when the head of animation on Frozen claimed the faces of female characters were “really, really difficult” to animate. This statement compelled Nancy Beiman, a longtime animator who is now a professor at Sheridan College, to include a section in a new edition of her animation textbook debunking the notion that there is something inherently masculine about certain movements…
Beiman began teaching animation in 2000, and she said things have gotten better for women since then. “I used to have to tell the girls, ‘Find someone who isn’t afraid of you.’” It’s something she doesn’t feel the need to do anymore.
But women are still concerned about airing their grievances, despite the fact that, again and again, women interviewed for this story said the men they worked with would be appalled to learn that women felt shut out, and that the exclusion was “a matter of ignorance,” as Anastasia put it.”

The excerpt I pulled is super long because there is so much in this article.

It’s remarkable to think about — most of the media consumed by children is animated, and this is who controls that… This is who designs the worlds that we absorbed before we developed filters and when we were trying to construct all of our rules.


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