Gender Orientation and Segregation of Ideas: #Metoo's Impact in Hollywood

Posted: 1 Apr 2021

See all articles by Hong Luo

Hong Luo

Harvard Business School - Strategy Unit

Laurina Zhang

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Date Written: March 31, 2021

Abstract

Does the #MeToo movement affect the gender orientation of ideas and who develops which types of ideas? We examine these questions in the context of Hollywood. Since #MeToo affected the entire industry, we use variation in whether producers had past collaborations with Harvey Weinstein to discern the movement’s impact. We find that relative to non-associated producers, there is, on average, no significant change in the likelihood of developing female-protagonist stories by Weinstein-associated producers after #MeToo compared to before, despite the fact that they now work substantially more with female writers. This is because, among projects by Weinstein-associated producers, female writers are significantly less likely than male writers to work on female-protagonist stories after #MeToo. Moreover, compared to their non-associated counterparts, the depiction of female protagonists by Weinstein-associated producers after #MeToo is less traditionally feminine. Overall, our findings suggest that #MeToo may have helped mitigate the frictions and biases that prevent female talent from exploring parts of the idea space that are
typically associated with men and may have shaped the nature of female-oriented works.

Keywords: Gender inequality, Gender segregation, Social movement, Direction of innovation, Creative industries

JEL Classification: D91,J16, M14, L82

Suggested Citation

Luo, Hong and Zhang, Laurina, Gender Orientation and Segregation of Ideas: #Metoo's Impact in Hollywood (March 31, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3817029

Hong Luo

Harvard Business School - Strategy Unit ( email )

Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Laurina Zhang (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.bu.edu/questrom/profile/laurina-zhang/

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