Studio Ghibli producer makes sexist comments on fantasy filmmakers

Yoshiaka Nishimura says he doesn’t think it’s a coincidence men are chosen to make fantasy films

Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaka Nishimura has made sexist comments in a new interview, claiming that it isn’t a coincidence men are chosen to make fantasy films because women are “realistic” whilst men are “idealistic”.

The comments were made in a dual The Guardian interview alongside Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the young protégé of Hayao Miyazaki, the director that was behind global hits Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, before retiring from the Japanese anime giant in 2013.

Fielding a question on whether he thinks Studio Ghibli will ever hire a female director, Nishimura said, “It depends on what kind of a film it would be. Unlike live action, with animation we have to simplify the real world. Women tend to be more realistic and manage day-to-day lives very well.

“Men on the other hand tend to be more idealistic – and fantasy films need that idealistic approach. I don’t think it’s a coincidence men are picked.”

When Marnie Was There is released in cinemas on June 10, whilst the studio’s next feature is a collaboration with Europe’s Wild Bunch studio directed by Dutch film-maker Michaël Dudok de Wit.