Halloween producer Jason Blum is apologising for off-target comments he made about his company’s failure to hire female directors for its signature horror genre — and his perception of their unavailability — in a recent magazine interview.
Blum seemed “jolted” when asked about Blumhouse Productions’ failure to hire any female directors since its creation in 2006, Polygon writer Matt Patches wrote in an article published October 17.
“We’re always trying to [do] that,” Blum said. “We’re not trying to do it because of recent events. We’ve always been trying.”
The producer then called an assistant to try to help him remember the name of another women he said he’d met with “a bunch of times” on a movie the company is working on with Sony Pictures. No luck there.
“There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror. I’m a massive admirer of [The Babadook director] Jennifer Kent,” he continued. “I’ve offered her every movie we’ve had available. She’s turned me down every time.”
People on social media were quick to criticise, and the AV Club jumped unto the breach by suggesting 10 female horror directors who could use a break from big-time Hollywood.
“Thank you everyone for calling me out on my dumb comments in that interview. I made a stupid mistake. I spoke too quickly about a serious issue — an issue I am passionate about,” the producer tweeted.
He noted that more than half of his movies’ audiences, as well as more than half of his company’s execs, are women, and acknowledged that women have anchored many of Blumhouse’s most successful franchises.
“[W]e have not done a good enough job working with female directors and it is not because they don’t exist. I heard from many today. The way my passion came out was dumb. And for that I am sorry. I will do better.”