The producer of the newest “Halloween” movie has walked back recent comments about why his company hasn’t put out a theatrically distributed horror movie with a woman behind the camera.
Jason Blum, founder of Blumhouse Productions, said in an interview published Wednesday with Polygon that “there are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror” — a comment that prompted a wave of criticism on social media, including among female directors.
Blum tweeted later that night: “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.”
“Halloween,” which comes out this week, is the 11th installment in the franchise and stars Jamie Lee Curtis.
Blum tweeted that “over 50 percent of our audience is female. Over 50 percent of Blumhouse execs are women. Some of our most successful franchises are anchored by women, including the one opening tomorrow/today, led by the biggest female legend in this genre.”
He continued: “But we 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.”
Blumhouse Productions is behind such films as “Get Out” and has a track record of using directors who aren’t traditionally tied to the genre (including “Halloween” director David Gordon Green, who directed the comedy “Pineapple Express").
When Polygon asked Blum why Blumhouse hasn’t hired a woman to direct one of its horror films, Blum told the outlet that “we’re always trying. … We’re not trying to do it because of recent events. We’ve always been trying.”
He also mentioned two female directors by name whom he said he’s offered multiple projects.
The Polygon piece author, Matt Patches, asked if a female director might bring a perspective to a “Halloween” movie that a man might not, particularly given a recent study that found among the 1,100 top-grossing films between 2015 and 2017, just 4.3 percent of directors were female.
Blum’s comments in the interview struck a chord, particularly as Hollywood is grappling with representation both on the screen and behind the scenes.
Hours before he posted the apology on Twitter, Blum said in a red carpet interview that “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.”
And Chelsea Stardust, Blum’s former executive assistant, tweeted her support for her one-time boss, writing that he connected her with CryptTV and that she directed her first feature film, the Blumhouse-financed “All That We Destroy.”
Stardust added: “He is the reason I’m a working director.”