The Future of Women in the Music Industry

The latest numbers from the Directors Guild of America, out this week, report that women directed just 15 percent of television episodes in the 2011-2012 season. The amount of work white women did stayed static, and the number of episodes women of color got to direct, went up but the jobs for men of color shrank. There is one question that always needs to be answered. Can music videos finally get more women directing movies and TV?


Born in 1981, Matsoukas, who is Jamaican, Cuban, Jewish, and Greek, has built a career on collaborations with female artists like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. Her videos often combine a certain girliness and wild power. In the video for Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” widely believed to be about Chris Brown, Matsoukas painted a failing affair in candy colors, and she turned Beyonce into B.B. Homemaker, a period desperate housewife to rival Betty Draper, in “Why Don’t You Love Me.” Melina Matsoukas is doing a wonderful job, directing music videos and commercials, but the article does not talk about Melina’s past music videos, such as “Sensual Seduction” by Snoopy Dogg. The models in this video feature explicit scenes of sexual intercourse, because “Sensual Seduction” is known by the uncensored version as “Sexual Eruption”. Melina has also directed many other videos with many artists that showcase women as sex objects such as Robin Thicke in “Sex Therapy”, Ne-Yo, and Beyonce. Sure, it is great that Matsoukas is now a Grammy Award winner for her “We Found Love” video, but it does not erase what she had to direct in the past in order to get to that point. By favoring what the audience wanted, Matsoukas was able to come this far.

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These videos show off what Matsoukas can do in five minutes or less, in a medium where powerfule female artists, unlike Hollywood executives, are keenly interested in speaking to women’s fantasies. Matsoukas is not without a doubt talented in directing music videos, but she first had to adapt to what her audience wanted, which was showcasing women dancing sexually. It would be nice to see her follow in the footsteps of David Fincher, who went from Madonna music videos to bloody, cerebral thrillers, or Marc Webb, who’s directed Weezer and Green Day and is now working on his second Spider-Man movie.

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