INDEED - Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Johnson were mathematicians and  engineers who worked at NASA during the height of the space race, yet -

YET it wasn't until the 2016 release of the aptly titled movie dramatization of their lives, ''HIDDEN FIGURES,'' that the women were given their due onscreen.

There are countless other examples of women, people of color and L.G.B.T.Q people being erased or sidelined from historically based films.

The 2008 film ''21'' about a team of mostly Asian American blackjack players, were cast with mostly white actors. Jennifer Connelly played Alicia Nash, the Salvadoran-American wife of John Forbes Nash Jr., in ''A Beautiful Mind.''

Roland Emmerich's ''Sonewall'' put a fictional, white cis gay man at the center of the famous riots when where trans people of color like Marsha P. Johnson - who was given a supporting role in the film - were among those at the foremost.

In 2013 FiveThirtyEight reported that the male to female biopics ''has consistently been around 3 to 1'' since 1933. And ''Hidden Figures'' aside, it remains rare to see a biopic centered on a women in STEM ; when a real woman's life is dramatized on screen , it;s often that of an entertainer or romantic partner of a famous man.

Anna Paquin only has one line over three and a half hours in ''The Irishman.''

When Martin Scorsese's crime drama made the festival rounds last fall, critics and reporters took note, just of the dearth of speaking time for Ms. Paquin, but the director's made-heavy oeuvre as a whole of Mr. Scorsese, Deadline reported, dismissed the issue.

The question was a ''waste of everyone's time,'' he said, adding his films feature a female lead ''if a story calls for a female lead.''

''The Irishman'' is a historical drama spanning several decades beginning in the 1950s and follows the crime dealings of the World War II vet Frank Sheeran [Robert de Nero].

It goes deep in the world's of mob bosses, politicians and labor unions - which during those years were indeed predominantly male and white - with only brief detours into their domestic lives.

To some extent, Mr. Scorsese has a point. But also : Why do so few of his films call for female leads?

When it comes to filmmakers guarding themselves against critiques for telling the same-old-stories about white men, history is a powerful shield.

A quick glance at the best picture Oscar nominee reveals just how impenetrable that armor is. Of the none films in this category, all but two spend the majority of their running times at least 39 years in the past.

Each of these periods pieces is overwhelmingly homogeneous when it comes to race, gender or both; the fact that they are set firmly in the past seemingly allows them to exist without much pushback.

''Ford vs Ferrai,'' for instance is based on the true story of the rivalry between the rugged American car manufacturing behemoth and the Italian luxury carmaker during the  1960s.

It's the quintessential white ''dad movie'' - the guys racing the cars, guys talking about cars, guys arguing over cars. The only prominent woman in the film is a familiar biopic trope : Supportive Wife of Male Genius, as embodied by Molie Miles [Caitrona Balfe].

In her Bloomberg review of ''Ford v Ferrari,'' the critic Hannah Elliot aptly observed that the few women onscreen ''woft through the film like smoke.''

She added, ''The critique I heard most often about ''Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'' could easily apply here : This is a film that is celebrating those nostalgic golden days when white men ruled.''

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on movies and Hollywood, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Aisha Harris.


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