Alma Har’el used her DGA Awards win on Saturday night to draw attention to a rising issue among the female directing community. Accepting her award in the First-Time Feature category for her Amazon film Honey Boy, Har’el thanked director Jessica Dimmock for drawing attention to the plight of women directors, who, like Dimmock herself did, become parents and lost their health insurance when they took a break from work.
Har’el said, “She started a campaign to end the parenthood penalty and afford more time to mothers to make their yearly minimum in the year they gave birth.”
In the past few days, more than 50 female helmers including Ava DuVernay, Greta Gerwig, Olivia Wilde, Reed Morano, Brie Larson, Jill Soloway, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon have signed a letter calling for a change to guild rules, so parents can take more time to be with their children and receive extra time to meet their required income minimums.
Speaking exclusively to Deadline backstage at the DGAs Har’el added, “We want to give women more time in the year that they become pregnant and become parents. So, they don’t get penalized and lose their health insurance in their most vulnerable year.”
“Tomorrow is the national board meeting of the DGA,” Har’el said onstage after her name was called at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Los Angels, “and we’re counting on the DGA to fight for parents so they can birth the next generation of audiences and filmmakers.”
No women were nominated for directing at Oscar, and none in the marquee Theatrical Feature category at DGA tonight.