Regina King says her vow to hire 50% women in her movies changed because 'it's not respectful to regard everything as male or female'

Patti Perret/Amazon StudiosDirector Regina King on the set of ‘One Night in Miami.’
  • Regina King spoke to Insider on how she’s evolved the vow she made at the 2019 Golden Globes when she said that future projects she produced would hire 50% women.
  • “No, we weren’t able to accomplish it [on my new film ‘One Night in Miami,]” King told Insider, who directed the film. “But we definitely tried.”
  • King revealed that her pledge for gender equity has evolved over the years, adding: “It’s not respectful to regard everything as male or female.”
  • The Oscar winner noted that in her latest movie, “One Night in Miami,” more than 50% of the crew “did not identify” as cisgender white males.
  • “One Night in Miami,” now in select US theatres, premieres on Amazon Prime Video on January 15.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As Regina King accepted the Golden Globe award for her role in “If Beale Street Could Talk” in 2019, she ended her moving acceptance speech with this promise:

“In the next two years, everything that I produce — I am making a vow and it’s going to be tough — to make sure that everything I produce is 50% women,” King said onstage as the room cheered with applause.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjx_bRvjIHo?start=150

The upcoming Amazon Studios’ release, “One Night in Miami,” marks King’s first directing effort since that vow and the actor, who also serves as a producer on the project, said her pledge was difficult to realise.

“No, we weren’t able to accomplish it,” King told Insider, “but we definitely tried.”

However, that doesn’t mean King didn’t make an impact. In fact, you could make the argument that she went a step further.

“What we were able to accomplish was that well over 50% of our crew were people that did not identify as cis white male[s],” she emphasised.

King admitted that so much has evolved since that memorable speech in 2019, including how she views and understands gender and its impact on Hollywood.

In the Oscar winner’s speech, she called out Times Up x2, which was launched in 2018 due to the #MeToo movement. It aims to “double the number of women in leadership and across other spaces where women are underrepresented,” according to the organisation’s website.

“From the moment of me making that proclamation, if you will, to us actually shooting [‘One Night in Miami’] it’s not respectful to regard everything as male or female,” she said. “So moving forward, as I do still feel having more women in positions behind the camera is important, I have to go beyond that.”

One night in miamiAmazon Studios‘One Night in Miami.’

Recent studies have shown that women directing top films are on the rise. According to one, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, out of the top 100 movies of 2019, 10.6% of top films were directed by a female, which is significantly higher than 2018 that only saw 4.5%.

Though there’s still work to be done. The same study notes women of colour held less than 1% of all directing jobs across 1,300 top films from 2007 to 2019.

So King’s mission for more women behind the camera is still important, but perhaps more so is giving work to those who don’t represent as cisgender, as data on that in Hollywood is non-existent.

The Oscar and Emmy-winning actress whose directing effort in “One Night in Miami” — about the fictitious meeting between civil rights titans Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke — is receiving Oscar buzz, said that her 50% vow is now a work in progress.

“[It’s] a challenge I will continue to try to achieve, even as I make adjustments to what that challenge actually is,” she concluded.

“One Night in Miami,” now in select US theatres, is available on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.

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