×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Diversity and Inclusion See Little Rise in 10 Years (Study)

Despite Hollywood’s rising awareness of diversity issues and the growing movement in support of inclusivity, there has been little year-on-year rise in inclusion in films released in 2016, according to a new study of 900 popular films from 2007 to 2016.

The study, from Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, analyzed nearly 40,000 characters for gender, race, LGBTQ status, and disability in 900 films, including the top 100 movies of 2016. (The report encompassed films released from 2007 to 2016, but excluded movies from the year 2011, which a separate study had covered.) Almost nothing has changed in terms of representation of these groups on screen, according to the study, and behind the scenes, the pool of directors proved even less diverse.

“These are embarrassing findings to a progressive industry that cares deeply about inclusion,” Smith told Variety. “The activism is clearly not reaching studio decision makers.”

The report found that of the films surveyed in 2016, 31.4% of speaking characters were female, unchanged from 2015 and not much higher than the 29.9% logged in 2007. The overall ratio of male to female characters was 2.3 to 1, and 34 films had a female lead or co-lead, compared to 32 in 2015.

Meanwhile, 70.8% of speaking roles in 2016’s top 100 were white, far outweighing the tallies for characters who were black (13.6%), Asian (5.7%), Hispanic (3.1%), or other (7%). The study also calculated “invisibility” numbers that reported, for instance, that 72 of 2016’s top 100 films had no Hispanic or Latina female speaking roles, and 91 had none for LGBTQ females.

Women were underrepresented behind the scenes as well, making up 4.2% of directors, 13.2% of writers, 20.7% of producers, and just 1.7% of composers. There were only 34 unique female directors that released films between 2007 and 2016 (excluding 2011).

Male gay characters were among the few demographics to rise year-on-year, up to 36 speaking roles in 2016 from 19 in 2015. There was also an uptick in underrepresented racial or ethnic groups in animation, but that was attributable to just two films, “Moana” and “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

The 2.7% of characters with disabilities in 2016 films was about on par with the 2.4% reported in 2015.

In addition to data breakdowns across film genres and varying combinations of gender, racial, and ethnic indicators, the study also suggested tactics that would bring its numbers up. Among these were target inclusion goals, as well as equality clauses or inclusion riders stipulated by big-name talent for their contracts.

More Film

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content