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SAG upbeat on data

Report shows more black, Latino roles

The Screen Actors Guild released new casting data Thursday that showed promising upticks in the number and share of roles for Latinos and African-American performers in film and TV.

Women aged 40 and over also made gains, showing a slight increase in their share of total female roles compared with 2001’s data.

SAG prexy Melissa Gilbert said that while it was “somewhat heartening” to see Latino and black performers reach historically high share levels, she cautioned, “We still have a long way to go.”

African-Americans achieved about the same share of roles in theatrical films (15.7%) as they did in television (15.5%). The combined 15.5% share is the largest in history and is higher than the African-American share of the U.S. population (12.9%).

Latino performers also achieved about the same share in theatrical films (5.8%) as they did in television roles 6.0%). Although their share of total roles is at a historically high 6.0%, it is still far less than the approximately 13% Latino population of the U.S.

Gilbert added that SAG would “continue to fight to gain access for all performers” and that she looked forward to “when all of the employment statistics truly reflect the American scene in realistic and positive ways.”

Data were based on all television and theatrical productions (excluding commercials and animation) reported to the guild via casting data reports provided by producers, under the provisions of SAG collective bargaining agreements.

Latino performers realized a net increase of 379 roles, driven primarily by episodic television. Their share of total TV and theatrical roles rose to 6.0%, an increase from 4.8% in 2001, marking their greatest share since SAG began tracking employment.

African-Americans realized a small increase of 39 roles, and also gained their highest share of roles ever, 15.5% of all roles cast, an increase from 14.4% in 2001.

Asian, Indian roles down

By contrast, the total number of both Asian-Pacific Islander and Native American roles decreased in 2002. Gilbert decried that these groups “had been left behind yet again.”

Asian/Pacific Islanders’ 2.5% share of total roles cast represents no change from 2001. Meanwhile, Native Americans were the only minority group to show a decrease in share of roles, receiving only 0.2% of the roles cast in 2002, a drop from the 0.37% share in 2001.

Women age 40 and over captured 29% of all female roles, which represents an increase of 2 share points over the 27% share garnered in 2001.

Although women continue to make up the majority of Americans, they received only 38% of the total roles cast.