Women in Hollywood see some gains after Oscars equality plea

Los Angeles — A year after best actress winner Frances McDormand used the Oscars stage to advocate for more women in front of and behind the camera, Hollywood is celebrating some progress — but remains far from reaching parity with men.

McDormand urged powerful celebrities to insist on inclusion riders: contractual provisions that require producers to interview female candidates for jobs ranging from gaffer to director.

First it was the furor over a proposed new "popular" film category, then it was the fiasco over planned host Kevin Hart, and last month the organizers of the Oscars were accused of intimidating celebrities not to present at rival award shows.

Last week, another storm erupted when, as part of a pledge to shorten next Sunday's Oscars ceremony, plans to present awards for cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts and makeup/hairstyling during commercial breaks were slammed as insulting by actors, directors and cinematographers. Five days later, the plan was scrapped. — Reuters