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Ava DuVernay becomes the first black woman to direct a $100 million-grossing film

Ava DuVernay becomes the first black woman to direct a $100 million-grossing film
[Photo: courtesy of Disney]

With A Wrinkle In Time, Ava DuVernay has become the first black female director whose movie grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office.

Of course, there have been recent success stories for black male directors, namely Ryan Coogler (Black Panther: $699 million), Jordan Peele (Get Out: $176 million), and Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip: $115 million), but DuVernay stands alone as the most successful black female director in Hollywood.

It’s a milestone worth celebrating, but one that also underscores the dismal state for black women in the director’s chair.

According to a study from USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only four of the top 1,100 films from 2007 to 2017 had black women directors. Worse still, there were only two female Asian directors and just one Hispanic/Latina director in that same data set, compared to the 36 white women who helmed a movie. While that number pales in comparison to the opportunities afforded to white men, it highlights just how important it is to address and fix the disparity at the intersection of both gender and race.

As DuVernay said on Twitter, joining the $100 million club is a “lovely room to be in. But can’t wait for more sisters to be here too.”

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