Netflix's Female Filmmakers on How to Sustain the Time's Up Movement's Momentum

At a FYC brunch, stars and creators from 'Glow,' 'Orange Is the New Black,' 'Jessica Jones' and more participated in a wide-ranging discussion about women in Hollywood.
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix
From left: Sarah Gadon, Danielle Brooks, Alison Brie and Regina King

Some of Netflix's highest-profile female filmmakers headed to Hollywood early on a Saturday morning for two panels presented by Netflix, SAG-AFTRA and Women in Film. The "Rebels + Rule Breakers" champagne brunch featured two conversations with stars and creators of some of the streaming service's biggest series, including Orange Is the New Black, Glow, Jessica Jones and more, and transformed the FYSee space at Raleigh Studios into an elegant pink-accented dining room.

The first panel, "Leading the Charge," featured actors Alison Brie (Glow), Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace) and Regina King (Seven Seconds) discussing having to fight for their roles, working with female creators and whether there are better roles for women now than there were before.

"Not really" seemed to be the consensus on the last topic. As Brie said, while working on Glow with a diverse group of co-stars playing complex characters, "I’m like, ‘Everything’s changed, and this is the future.’ And then we finish production and I’m released back out into the wild of the industry, and I’m very disappointed. [We’re] paving the way for that to be a more constant reality. I don’t know that we’re there yet.”

But as Gadon, star of the Sarah Polley–penned and Mary Harron–directed Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace, told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the panel, there have been some changes.

"People are being given a platform who were never able to create [or] work with these resources," she said. "People like Sarah Polley, people like Mary Harron were never allowed to create content of this scope, so I think it's really impressive that those women are being given resources from companies like Netflix, [who] are saying, 'Go ahead and make whatever you want to make.' It's really exciting."

Guests mingled among the interactive exhibits in the FYSee space before taking their places at tables with pastel floral centerpieces, stylish place settings and cuisine a bit more elegant than the typical FYC buffet fare: a lemon-scented quinoa and lettuce salad first course preceded the first panel, and a miso-glazed sole and forbidden rice main course preceded the second.

The second panel, "Shot Callers," featured a discussion about breaking into Hollywood and advice for other women with Glow creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, Grace & Frankie creator Marta Kauffmann, Seeing Allred subject Gloria Allred, Seven Seconds creator Veena Sud, Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and Netflix vp original content Cindy Holland.

The women also touched on what they thought it would take to make sure the Time's Up movement isn't just a moment, what they learned from their failures and what they would advise their younger selves.

Rosenberg said although it is "wildly unfair," the key to achieving parity in Hollywood is "to keep picking ourselves up." Added Sud, "Being that champion for other women is very, very important, because if we’re not, who will be?"

Following the second panel, guests tucked into warm cookie pie a la mode before boarding golf carts back to the valet, where there was a lengthy wait for cars. The crowd, which included cast members from various Netflix series, didn't seem to mind, and chatted with one another about the event before finally driving off.