A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem
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A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem

  • BY Yu Gu | IN Women & Girls
    Premiered January 4, 2021

About the Film

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem sheds light on the continued fight to end the gender pay gap prevalent throughout the National Football League. For over 50 years, the NFL has employed cheerleaders—women who are lifelong athletes expected to both maintain a peak physical condition and fulfill extreme beauty standards. Many of these athletes have been historically underpaid, with some earning as little as $5 an hour, while others are never paid a salary at all. A Woman's Work chronicles the journeys of cheerleaders from the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills, each of whom put their careers on the line to take legal action and fight for fair pay. MORE

Through the stories of two women in particular—Lacy, a former cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders and mother of three, and Maria, a former Buffalo Bills cheerleader, both of whom take up the grueling fight for fair pay against the NFL—the film paints a vivid picture of gender inequality at the heart of America’s favorite pastime.  A Woman’s Work features interviews with former cheerleaders—some who have filed lawsuits against and others who stand staunchly in support of the NFL—their family members, and labor lawyers.

The Filmmakers

Yu Gu is a multinational filmmaker and visual artist whose award-winning films explore the clash between individuals and systems of power. Yu co-directed the feature documentary Who is Arthur Chu?, which won two festival grand jury awards and was broadcast on World Channel in 2018. The first 3-channel short documentary from Her Interior Migrations project, documenting the memories of migrant workers in Canada, premiered at the Art Gallery of Ontario and participated in The Public – Land and Body installation in Toronto. She was a directing fellow with Firelight Media and Film Independent and was awarded Best Emerging Filmmaker at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Yu received her MFA in film production from the University of Southern California and a BA from the University of British Columbia. She is a Lecturer at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Yu is a proud member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Film Fatales, and the Asian American Documentary Network. LESS

Film Credits

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/CINEMATOGRAPHER
Yu Gu

PRODUCER/WRITER
Elizabeth Ai

CO-PRODUCER
Jin Yoo-Kim

COMPOSER
Allyson Newman

EDITOR
Victoria Chalk

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Michael Ehrenzweig

CONSULTING PRODUCERS
Monika Navarro
Noland Walker

SOUND DESIGNER & MIXER
Sung Rok Choi

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
Christopher Nguyen
Samanta Helou Hernandez
Candice Burrows

ASSISTANT TO PRODUCERS
Ashley Ball
Rachel Sine

FEATURING (in order of appearance)
Lacy Thibodeaux Fields
Linda Thibodeaux
Scarlett Fields
Michael Thibodeaux
Joshua Fields
Maria Pinzone
Jared Tulowitzki
Carol Pinzone
Leslie Levy
Sharon Vinick
Darci Burrell
Sharon Dupuis
Kathleen Carmer
Fields Saracione
Sean Cooney
Marc Panepinto
Krystal Cruz-Murolo
Alyssa Ursin
Lisa De Muesy
June Russell Beete
Stephanie Fox
Beverly Alexander
Sandra Humphers Denney
Roue Olsar
Chloe Smith
Tina Teets
Barbara Savage
Alexandria Medina
Lisa Kolby Callahan
DeMaurice Smith
Judge Timothy J. Drury
Steve Hurd
Chris Marlborough
Robin Abcarian
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
Carmen Pinzone
James Schwan
Sagan Fields
Kristina Tomasello
Tiffany Poliseno
Bailey Davis

ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Tom Campbell
Nausheen Dadabhoy
Scott Drucker
Zac Manuel

DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY
Bryant Swanstrom

SOUND RECORDIST
Kristian Borysevicz

ADDITIONAL EDITOR
Yu Gu
Katrina Taylor

CONSULTING EDITOR
Johanna Demetrakas
Maya Mumma

STORY CONSULTANT
Jennifer Arnold

ASSISTANT EDITOR
Rudik Osorio
Set Hernandez Rongkilyo

FOLEY RECORDING
Yesol Choi
Sung-woo Kim

FOLEY ARTIST
Yong-kook Kim
Jae-hong Moon

MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER
Leah Nichols

MOTION GRAPHICS CONSULTANT
Aaron Benoit

ARCHIVAL PRODUCER
Pamela Gaudiano

ARCHIVAL RESEARCHER
Sam Frickleton
Christopher Nguyen

COLORIST
Robert Crosby

STYLIZED SHOOT PRODUCTION CREW
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Tom Campbell

ASSISTANT CAMERA
Jefri Meintjes

GAFFER
Edgar Gomez

KEY GRIP
Jorge Lopez

SWING
Jesse Lee

2ND AC/DOWNLOADER
Amina Zadeh

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Samanta Helou Hernandea

KEY MAKEUP ARTIST
Yoko Kagaya

ASSISTANT MAKEUP ARTIST
Chinatsu Watanabe

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Emily Peters

PRODUCTION DESIGNER ASSISTANT
Rachel Sine

CHOREOGRAPHER
Kelly Yvonne

ACTORS
Laura Chen
Micaela DePauli
Anna Mischio
Abbey Moody
Megan Tallon
Arista Williams
Rachel Sine

PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT
Ameena Din

LEGAL
Donaldson & Callif

PRODUCTION INSURANCE
Film Emporium

LOCATION SUPPORT
Buffalo Film Commission

INTERNS
Lacy Wright
Sandhya Bhaskar
Brianna Lee Berger
Stephanie Lincoln

MENTORS
Marshall Curry
Greg Finton
Ali Johnes
Andrea Meditch
Freida Lee Mock
Holly Morris
Gini Reticker
Carlos Sandoval
Enat Sidi
Pamela Yates

ARCHIVAL MATERIALS
National Organization for Women
Phoenix Learning Group
Schlesinger Library
Wisconsin Public Television
YWCA

SPECIAL THANKS
Robin Abcarian
Sara Blackwell
Iyabo Boyd
Elizabeth Bradford
John Carlino
Erika Cohn
Kim DeArcangelis
N’Jeri Eaton
Adam Habib
Kathy Huang
Brian Jaton
Courtney Maccarone
David Osit
Eric Pearson
Melissa Phillips
Patricia V. Pierce
Manouchcar Pierre-Val
Nily Rozic
Susie Sanchez
Carlos Sandoval
Ray Santisteban
Diane Todd
Philip Urban
Joy Yoon + Simon Wainwright
Malika Zouhali-Worrall

IN MEMORY OF
Carol Pinzone
Frank Dolce

FISCAL SPONSOR
Women Make Movies

PRODUCTION SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Firelight Media Next Step Media Fund
Tribeca Film Institute - Tribeca All Access

FUNDING PROVIDED BY
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Fund

ORIGINAL SERIES FUNDING PROVIDED BY
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Wyncote Foundation
The National Endowment for the Arts

A WOMAN’S WORK is a co-production of Cheer Film, LLC and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

This program was produced by Cheer Film, LLC which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2020 Cheer Film, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Did this film change your perspective about NFL cheerleaders? Do you think cheerleaders are athletes and should be paid accordingly?
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Did this film change your perspective about NFL cheerleaders? Do you think cheerleaders are athletes and should be paid accordingly?