Artist reimagines movie posters to highlight sexism in Hollywood

The gender roles that have been prescribed to us by society have formed an integral part of our identities for far too long. And the entertainment industry can undoubtedly be viewed as a smokescreen from which we can see our everyday woes play out.

In 2017, a study was published showing just how underrepresented women are in Hollywood. The research, which was conducted by USC Annenberg's Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative, reported that 80 percent of female directors made only one movie each between 2007 and 2016. And of course - the results were as discouraging for women of colour - whose total came in at 83.3 percent.

But while we in our post-Weinstein-Spacey-Ratner-whoever-is-next world wait for dramatic change to occur, one artist is committed to highlighting the inherent sexism within the film industry, and in particular, in movie posters. Artist Saint Hoax redesigned three movie posters, which prize female sexuality above everything else, while providing worrying statistics about female inclusion, or the lack thereof.

The movie posters - featuring three box office hits - The Graduate, Dirty Grandpa and Death proof all feature the catchphrase "my eyes are up here", as well as facts about the realities of working in Hollywood as a woman.

1. The Graduate 

"98 per cent of films were cinematographed by men. Stop cutting women out of the picture"

alt Credit: Saint Hoax

2. Death Proof

"92 per cent of films were directed by men. Stop cutting women out of the picture" 

alt Credit: Saint Hoax

3. Dirty Grandpa

"76 per cent of films were produced by men. Stop cutting women out of the picture"

alt Credit: Saint Hoax

Speaking about the impetus behind the project, Saint Hoax elaborated:

"Despite the success of female-led movies in 2017 like Wonder Women and Beauty and the Beast, the number of female protagonists dropped since last year. The number of women working behind-the-scenes also dropped.

As a reaction to these staggering numbers, I designed a series of satirical posters that highlight these studies by pairing them with a selection of sexist movie posters."

Saint Hoax is perhaps best known for his Instagram account, which boasts over 180,000 followers. Often featuring Disney characters, Saint Hoax toys with the mass media company's notions of masculinity. Hercules is featured as a drag queen, and Prince Eric of The Little Mermaid fame is seen transitioning between genders.

"There is something quite powerful about mixing classic children’s illustrations with reality,” the artist explained. "Taking those characters out of their Utopian setting and placing them in a contemporary context often creates shocking visuals."

In regards to Disney's female characters, Saint Hoax mocks traditional conceptions of "femininity" - depicting various princesses with hairy legs, period stains and some even smoking marijuana. The artist's most widely shared work, however, was a series featuring certain princesses and princes as survivors of domestic abuse.

While the sexism in Hollywood remains blatant, artists such as Saint Hoax are evidently doing their bit to ensure that this disparity is, at the very least, recognised by the masses.