Movie Rating System Measures Gender Bias

Some Swedish movie theaters are introducing the system. The scale grades films based on a concept introduced by the feminist cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Whether a film passes or fails depends on whether any of its named female characters have conversations with one another about something other than men.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our Last Word In Business today is Bechdel test. In Sweden, some movie makers - some movie theaters are introducing a new rating system that measures gender bias.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The scale grades films based on a concept introduced by the feminist cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Whether a film passes or fails depends on whether it has at least two main female characters having conversations with one another about something other than men - a surprisingly high bar.

GREENE: Yeah, seriously, because many movies actually failed this test, including classics we know well - like "Star Wars" - and also, recent hits like "The Social Network."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE SOCIAL NETWORK")

JESSE EISENBERG: (As Mark Zuckerberg) Any questions?

JOSEPH MAZZELLO: (As Dustin Moskovitz) Who are the girls?

ANDREW GARFIELD: (As Eduardo Saverin) Sorry - Christy and Alice.

MAZZELLO: (As Dustin Moskovitz) Hi.

BRENDA SONG: (As Christy) Hi.

MALESE JOW: (As Alice) Hello.

MAZZELLO: (As Dustin Moskovitz) Hi.

SONG: (As Christy) Is there anything we can do?

EISENBERG: (As Mark Zuckerberg) No. That's it.

MONTAGNE: Love it.

GREENE: Fail. (Laughter)

MONTAGNE: One Swedish TV channel plans to show the new rating some respect by running a Bechdel-approved marathon, The movies include "The Iron Lady" and "The Hunger Games." And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RESPECT")

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