Telephoto Zoom Discouraged On WSL Competitors In Bikinis
Our little dirty pocket of surf has been effectively quarantined from the #metoo movement and the resultant sexual harassment claims that have torn through some of the world’s most powerful men and businesses. While there have been no sexual misconduct allegations involving surfing’s biggest players, that doesn’t mean the industry isn’t taking precautions in combatting any lurking IEDs.
The World Surf League met on the Gold Coast during the Quiksilver Pro and sexual harassment was the number one topic for their human resource department. The meeting was a refresher on the rules and responsibilities of all WSL employees, a scenario taking place at big businesses around the world.
No inappropriate jokes. No leering at colleagues or competitors. Absolute gender equality in all parts of the operation (except competitive winnings).
All cinematographers have been instructed to exercise discretion while shooting the women’s heats. Cinematographers must be careful to be zoomed out during bottom turns or duck dives. A live broadcast means there’s no time for editing so all camera operators need to use common sense when shooting. That means wide shots of any competitors in skimpy swimwear. Girls who surf in boardshorts will feature larger on screen than those in bikinis.
The World Surf League joins those businesses who have corrected the male power balance in upper management, with the recent hire of Sophie GoldSchmidt as CEO, the first female to head up the operation since pro surfing’s inception. The WSL joins only seven percent of Fortune 1000 companies – the largest businesses in the United States – to have a female CEO.
The women will now have social equity and camera inequality, but they will still receive 40% less than the men for winning a competition. The lower ranking competitors in women’s events (second round exits) receive respectively higher amounts compared to the difference between a final and second round exit in the mens. But, to this day, the women still receive considerably less prize money than their male counterparts both individually and overall.
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