Time’s Up (Again?): Transforming Hollywood’s Industrial Culture

Abstract:  In the 1970s, almost fifty years before the “Time’s Up” movement, women in Hollywood unions organized “women’s committees” to counter institutional sexism and address rampant underemployment. While the unions supported the general motive behind these committees’ efforts, women activists struggled to gather information about hiring practices and enact policy changes. To understand gender inequity in contemporary Hollywood, I argue that we need to reexamine Hollywood infrastructure and consider how it continues to inform labor practices. Using the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) women’s committee as a case study, this article shows how employment insecurity, a problem that has plagued male and female actors, and the inability or unwillingness of Hollywood institutions to address the precarious work culture inhibited women’s activist efforts in the 1970s.