Alma Har’el used her DGA win on Saturday night to draw attention to a contentious issue among the female directing community. Accepting her award in the First-Time Feature category for her film Honey Boy, Har’el thanked director Jessica Dimmock for drawing attention to the plight of women directors, who, like Dimmock herself did, become parents and lost their health insurance when they take a break from work.
Har’el said, “She started a campaign to end parenthood penalty and afford more time to mothers to make their yearly minimum in the year they gave birth.”
In the past few days, more than 50 female helmers including Ava DuVernay, Greta Gerwig, Olivia Wilde, Reed Morano, Brie Larson, Jill Soloway, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon have signed a letter calling for a change to guild rules, so parents can take more time to be with their children and receive extra time to meet their required income minimums.
Speaking exclusively to Deadline backstage at the DGAs Har’el added, “We want to give women more time in the year that they become pregnant and become parents. So, they don’t get penalized and lose their health insurance in their most vulnerable year.”
“Tomorrow is the national board meeting of the DGA,” Har’el said on stage, “and we’re counting on the DGA to fight for parents so they can birth the next generation of audiences and filmmakers.”
With zero women nominated for directing at Oscar, and none in the Theatrical Feature category at DGA, support for women who are also parents is paramount if we are to see women directors rise.