Why Ava DuVernay cried during 'Wonder Woman'
Posted June 8
"Wonder Woman" may have torn through box office records its opening weekend, but it's the wonder woman behind the camera who moved Ava DuVernay.
DuVernay said she cried when director Patty Jenkins' name appeared in the final credits after seeing Jenkins' emphasis on inclusivity in the superhero film.
"[Wonder Woman] was a beautiful example of what Hollywood can be," she told CNN at a recent press event. "And that's what happens when you let women behind the camera."
Related: Patty Jenkins: 'Wonder Woman' a 'hero' for all
For DuVernay, equality in Hollywood means better representation of all people, both on screen and off.
"Equity means half of the projects being directed by women [and] casts that reflect the real world -- not just black people and white people, but brown people and Native people and Muslim people, people of all ages and sizes and body types," she said.
Last month, the "Selma" director shared Jessica Chastain's dismay over the lack of female representation at the Cannes Film Festival.
DuVernay said she promoted Chastain's remarks on social media, in part, to draw attention to the team she leads on the drama "Queen Sugar."
The OWN series, which DuVernay created and produces, will once again feature an all-female directorial lineup in its second season.
"If 'Game of Thrones' can have three seasons of all male directors, why can't we have three seasons of all women directors?" she asked.
DuVernay sees "Queen Sugar," along with other projects like Melissa Rosenburg's "Jessica Jones" and Ryan Murphy's "American" series, as leading the charge in creating balanced opportunities for women and men within the entertainment industry.
Related: Female directors becoming rarer in Hollywood
For the 2015-2016 television season, women made up just 26% of behind-the-scenes roles, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film. More than 90% of television programs lacked female directors.
The study also found when more women are employed behind the scenes, more female characters appear on screen.
DuVernay said it's crucial for women to join the creative process from the start.
"When you direct a [TV] pilot, you decide the world," she said. "If it's Season 7 of that show, and it's re-airing in China 10 years from now, you get a check."
Fortunately for DuVernay, she has the full confidence of the woman who launched OWN.
"One of my greatest gifts is surrounding myself with people who are smarter than I am," Oprah Winfrey said Tuesday. "I trust her."
"Queen Sugar" returns to OWN on June 20.