×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

“My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences at UCLA. “And all areas still have a long way to go.”

The report, titled “Old Story, New Beginning,” is the sixth in six years from the center. The report points out that the nation consisted of nearly 40% minorities in 2017– the last year examined — and states the percentage will only increase in the coming years. The report is based on the top 200 theatrical film releases in 2017 and 1,316 broadcast, cable and digital platform television shows from the 2016-17 season.

“The gains in television during the past six years are due to the explosion in original programming,” noted Hunt. “There were six Netflix titles in 2011-12 and there are 93 in 2016-17. And millennials are the ones consuming digital shows. It’s their preferred platform, so diversity is a must.”

Minorities saw gains in broadcast scripted leads, cable scripted leads, digital scripted leads, broadcast reality and other leads, cable reality and other leads, broadcast scripted show creators, and cable scripted show creators. Minorities lost ground in only one of the 12 arenas (digital reality and other leads) and held their ground in the other three (film directors, film writers, and digital scripted show creators).

“Despite notable gains for the group since the previous report (particularly in television), people of color remained underrepresented on every industry employment front in 2016-17,” the report said.

Relative to their male counterparts, women posted gains in seven of the 12 key Hollywood employment arenas since the previous report — among film leads, film directors, broadcast scripted leads, broadcast reality and other leads, cable reality and other leads, cable scripted show creators, and digital scripted show creators.

But women remained underrepresented on every front in 2016-17, including 32.9% in film leads, 12.6% among film directors and film writers, 39.7% in broadcast scripted leads and 43.1% among cable scripted leads. Hunt said progress in film remains elusive.

“Despite films like ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Black Panther,’ you still have the same people in the executive suites,” he noted. “To the extent that you’re not catering to diversity, you’re probably depressing your business.”

Hunt also pointed out that new evidence supports findings from earlier reports that America’s increasingly diverse audiences prefer diverse film and television content.

“Films with casts that were from 31% to 40% minority enjoyed the highest median global box office receipts, while those with majority-minority casts posted the highest median return on investment,” the report said. “By contrast, films with the most racially and ethnically homogenous casts were the poorest performers. Minorities accounted for the majority of ticket sales for five of the top 10 films in 2017, as well as half of the ticket sales for a sixth.”

“Unfortunately, the industry has been much slower to accept the related truth that its success in providing today’s (and tomorrow’s) audiences with what they crave also hinges on the presence of diverse talent behind the camera — in the director’s chair, in the writers’ room, and in executive suites,” the report said. “The resulting missed opportunities, this report series has documented, are not good for Hollywood’s bottom line.”

More Film

  • The Traitor

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Traitor'

    What surprises most about Marco Bellocchio’s Mafia drama “The Traitor” is just how straightforward it is. Given its subject — Tommaso Buscetta, the highest-ranking Mafia don to sing to the authorities — there were expectations that the director would deliver a theatrical drama along the lines of “Vincere,” but notwithstanding a few operatic flourishes, his [...]

  • Perfect Strangers

    Zhao Tao, Rajkumar Hirani Join Shanghai Festival Jury

    Italian director Paolo Genovese and Chinese actress Zhao Tao are among members of the jury for the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival. They join the previously announced jury president, 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish director behind last year’s “The Wild Pear Tree.” Genovese’s 2016 film “Perfect Strangers” made $7.7 million [...]

  • ‘An Easy Girl’ Wins Cannes Directors’

    ‘An Easy Girl’ Wins Cannes Directors’ Fortnight French-language Movie Prize

    CANNES  —  One of France’s most highly-regarded young women filmmakers, Rebecca Zlotowski, has won the Directors’ Fortnight prize for best French-language movie for “An Easy Girl,” a sensual coming of age tale set on France’s Cote d’Azur. From reviews published to date, “An Easy Girl” marks a return to form for Zlotowski after the disappointment [...]

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2

    Film Review: ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’

    Illumination’s “The Secret Life Of Pets” films do something the “Despicable Me” studio’s other offerings have yet to accomplish: They allow younger audiences to explore their feelings about new life experiences in a silly, lighthearted way through the travails of adorable animated animals. Despite being an overly loud and caustic clone of “Toy Story,” the [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth (H) with Em (Tessa

    'Men In Black: International' Heads for $40 Million Opening

    Sony’s action comedy “Men in Black: International” is heading for a $40 million launch in North America on the June 14-16 weekend, early tracking showed Thursday. New Line’s opening of its “Shaft” sequel, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher and Richard Roundtree, should wind up in the $18 million range during the same frame, [...]

  • Shailene Woodley probation Dakota Pipeline protest

    Cannes: Shailene Woodley's 'Misanthrope' Bought for China Release

    Chinese sales and distribution company Infotainment China Media has bought the China rights to “Misanthrope,” the new serial killer thriller starring Shailene Woodley. The deal was concluded with FilmNation Entertainment on the margins of the Cannes Film Festival. Woodley (“Big Little Lies”, the “Divergent” franchise”) will play a cop recruited by the FBI to hunt [...]

  • Rotten Tomatoes

    Rotten Tomatoes Revamps Movie Audience Scores to Focus on Verified Ticket Buyers

    Rotten Tomatoes is dramatically changing its Audience Score methodology for movies: The site’s standard user rating will now reflect only moviegoers who can prove they’ve bought a ticket to see it in a theater. It’s another troll-fighting move by Rotten Tomatoes, designed to curb coordinated “review bombs” aimed at pushing down the Audience Score for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content