Dunham, Kohan, Wiig, Kaling talk ‘women in Hollywood’

The Associated Press

Lena Dunham dreams of the day when a man might say, “It’s impossible to get into Hollywood. It’s an old women’s network.”

The creative force behind HBO’s “Girls” shared the stage with “The Mindy Project” creator Mindy Kaling, “Bridesmaids” star and co-writer Kristen Wiig and “Orange Is the New Black” show-runner Jenji Kohan for a discussion on women in Hollywood this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.

The four women weighed in how they broke into the entertainment industry and the challenges they face as its minority gender.

All said they realized early on that if they wanted to tell the stories they cared most about, they’d have to take the reins and do it themselves. And they found TV a far friendlier environment for female voices than film.

“There’s just a lot more opportunity,” Kohan said. “It seems like film is really behind.”

Even with the success of “Weeds” and “Orange Is the New Black,” Kohan said the only scripts she’s been offered to write involve “weddings and moms.”

Dunham, too, said after earning acclaim for her first film, “Tiny Furniture,” she was given opportunities to pen such scripts as “Strawberry Shortcake.” She wasn’t interested, so she created “Girls.”

They hope their current successes help pave the way for other women with Hollywood dreams. All four rely on writing teams populated by mostly women, but they don’t count men out.

“You shouldn’t have to just limit yourself to one gender,” Kohan said. “You want to work with whoever is the best at what they’re doing.”