The “Storytelling Unbound” research project was a national survey of approximately 2,000 film and TV consumers consisting of adults 18-49 with samples of Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians.
According to the study, inclusive storytelling is one of the key concerns in the demographic sampled, particularly with the 18-34 audience. The sampled audience did believe, however, that the progress that has been made is better than the current state of storytelling: 49% of respondents felt good about the progress of representation, while 38% felt good about current TV show’s representation in both plot and casting.
The study also revealed that the no. 1 issue people think needs to be addressed is racial stereotypes, tropes, and typecasting, with 40% of respondents choosing that as an issue. Respondents also indicated that the celebrity pool is diversifying: only 22% of names selected as the “top-of-the-mind” celebrity of today were minorities, but that number rose to 33% for the biggest name of the future.
The study was part of UCI’s new Project Unbound, the company’s mission to close the diversity gap in entertainment by raising awareness of the disparities and solutions; creating and celebrating content representative of today’s America; and developing and supporting emerging storytellers.
“We’ve been working hard at representative storytelling since our inception almost 60 years ago and today we are asking the industry to share our commitment. Project Unbound is about our collective efforts to not just talk about it but to move the entertainment business toward real representation and inclusivity,” said Tonia O’Connor, Univision’s chief revenue officer. “It’s unacceptable that minorities and women still today remain underrepresented across all major aspects of entertainment. Like our peers, we still have more work to achieve in closing the gaps. This is not only because diversity is just, but because it makes for a better product, and more enjoyment by our audiences.”
O’Connor also revealed that Univision will release the Storytelling Unbound Handbook next summer, a manual of best practices focused on inclusive storytelling behind and in front of the camera selected from the experiences of UCI executives, academics and entertainment industry groups.