Universal Pictures has become the first major film studio to commit to the “4% Challenge.” The challenge was introduced by Dr. Stacy L. Smith from USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative at the Sundance Film Festival—in honor of the Time's Up movement—after reports that just 4 percent of the 1,200 top-performing films released over the past decade were directed by women. Further fueling the lack of gender diversity in the field, zero women were nominated for best director at the Oscars this year.
Accepting the challenge to change the status quo, Universal has vowed to work with at least one female director on a feature film in the next 18 months. The decision comes after several other top Hollywood producers like Reese Witherspoon and Jordan Peele announced their commitment to the challenge. However miniscule the inclusion of one female director may seem, it's a commendable step within an industry notoriously lacking in diversity.