Jason Blum apologizes for comments about female directors
Film producer and Blumhouse Productions founder Jason Blum apologized Wednesday night for comments he made about female directors. Blum described the comments as “dumb” and said he had made “a stupid mistake.”
In an interview with Polygon published earlier that day, Blum had addressed the fact that no horror movie theatrically released by Blumhouse had been directed by a woman.
“We’re always trying to that,” Blum said. “We’re not trying to do it because of recent events. We’ve always been trying.”
“There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror,” Blum was quoted as saying later in the article. “I’m a massive admirer of [The Babadook director] Jennifer Kent. I’ve offered her every movie we’ve had available. She’s turned me down every time.”
Blum’s comments, and in particular his assertion that there is a lack of of female directors who are “inclined to do horror,” received considerable pushback on the internet. The AV Club published an article rounding up “10 female horror directors for Jason Blum who seems to have trouble finding them.” One of the filmmakers on that list, Southbound and XX co-director Roxanne Benjamin, critiqued via Twitter Blum’s statement that there is a shortage of women directors willing to tackle genre projects. “Blumhouse basically only works with known or name directors right?” wrote Benjamin. “So if he’s saying there’s only a few ‘known/name’ female studio directors that fit their model, he’s not wrong. If you want a list of female horror or genre filmmakers though, trust me, that list is LONG AS F—.”
Blum’s apology too came via a tweet, one which referenced the new, Jamie Lee Curtis-starring horror sequel Halloween, whose premiere was held in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“Thank you for calling me out on my dumb comments in that interview,” wrote Blum. “I made a stupid mistake. I spoke too quickly about a serious issue — an issue I am passionate about. Over 50 percent of Blumhouse execs are women. Some of our most successful franchises are anchored by women, including the one opening tomorrow/today, led by the biggest female legend in this genre. But we have not done a good enough job working with female directors and it is not because they don’t exist. I heard from many today. The way my passion came out was dumb. And for that I am sorry. I will do better.”
Read Blum’s full statement below:
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