Horror is experiencing a renaissance, thanks in a large part to the work of producer Jason Blum. He’s the man behind Paranormal Activity, Get Out, and the upcoming Halloween, but his production company Blumhouse has yet to hire a female director to helm a theatrically released horror movie. Polygon’s Matt Patches asked Blum about that track record, to which Blum claimed that he had been trying to work with a female director on a horror film, but that “there are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror.” “I’m a massive admirer of [Babadook director] Jennifer Kent,” he added. “I’ve offered her every movie we’ve had available. She’s turned me down every time.” (Kent wasn’t available to comment on Polygon’s story.) Blum also told Polygon that he’d offered projects to Leigh Janiak, who directed Honeymoon in 2014, but that nothing had come together yet (she also told Polygon they had been in talks about various ideas). Until then, Blum should know there are plenty of other women directors who, you know, continue to exist.
Update, 10/17, 11:42pm: Variety caught up with Blum on the red carpet at the premiere of Halloween, where he claimed that all these comments were a big mistake. “I totally misspoke,” Blum said. “I made a mistake about it. Our audience is 55% women; the executives at the company we have are 50% women. I am passionate about hiring women, and I totally made a mistake in the way I represented that. We already work with a lot of women.” “Chelsea Stardust, who is my old assistant, I financed her first movie, but I would like to work with more,” he continued. “Today was a great day for me because I learned a lot and because there are a lot of women out there that I’m going to meet as a result of today so I’m grateful for it.”
Update, 10/18, 1:00am: The director has issued a more formal apology on Twitter, reiterating his red carpet statements and adding a more direct “I am sorry,” into the mix.