One benefit from the holidays for me is having the time to just sit and read. I always skim through The New Yorker, plowing through Talk of the Town and and soaking in one or two articles and/or reviews that catch my interest. But it's usually a semi-distracted affair on my part, so I rarely even notice the ads.
I had time to start into this week's issue with some leisure, though, and that afforded me the pleasure of seeing a multi-page ad for Iconoclasts, a miniseries on Sundance Channel celebrating "innovators, ground shakers and rule breakers."
I couldn't help but notice that, out of the 12 iconoclastic movers and shakers profiled, only two are women -- actress RenÃ©e Zellweger and CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour.
Meanwhile, the male Iconoclasts featured are:
- Robert Reford (actor)
- Paul Newman (actor)
- Samuel L. Jackson (actor)
- Bill Russell (sports star)
- Tom Ford (fashion designer)
- Jeff Koons (artist)
- Brian Grazer (film producer)
- Sumner Redstone (CEO)
- Mario Batali (chef)
- Michael Stipe (rock star)
To be sure, many of these people have done much more than what they're known for. But let's face it, they're known for being actors and designers and so on.
So why aren't there more women? Yes, we live in a patriarchy and yes men dominate the arts, fashion and entertainment industries, but women account for 53% of the population and, in the creative arts industries, there certainly is not a dearth of female iconoclasts, is there? (Need I post a list?)
Are women deserving of only 16.67% of the honors? (Are Hispanics and Asians so undeserving of any mention? And what is Sumner Redstone doing in this show at all?)
If this were a Fox or NBC product, this kind of bias would hardly be remarkable -- in fact, it would be expected and insisted upon. But this is Sundance, which supposedly is about empowering disempowered voices and supporting progressive causes. With Iconoclasts, Sundance gets a failing grade.