People Of Color Only Get 6 Minutes Total In All The Harry Potter Movies

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Beloved as the Harry Potter films may be, there's one thing they definitely don't magically accomplish: giving people of color a voice on the big screen.

Dylan Marron — an actor, writer, and director who is also the voice of Carlos on Welcome to Night Vale — is the creator of the Tumblr titled the Every Single Word project, which documents every word spoken by a minority voice in a given mainstream film. Recently, Marrow took on the Potter series, and uncovered some truly disheartening data.

"Out of the 1,207 minutes of the entire film series, POC speak for 5 minutes and 40 seconds," he wrote in a post on the Tumblr which also appeared on Facebook. "That's 0.47% which is represented by 12 characters (and 13 actors), two of whom are CGI. On average, each character speaks for 28.33 seconds."

We just gave it a watch, and it's incredible how the vast majority of these characters aren't ones that we remember in the first place. Even more alarming was that one of the longest stretches of a character of color speaking, came by way of a talking shrunken head, hanging from the rearview mirror of the Knight Bus. It's not even an actual person of color: It's a disembodied, dreadlocked head, clad with green and yellow beads on the ends.

"J.K. Rowling created a truly incredible world," Marron went on. "The story of Harry Potter deals with universal themes like honor, destiny, love, friendship, self-actualization, and empowerment through education. These themes are not intrinsically white. Albus Dumbledore beautifully says that 'Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.'"

Marron continued, "If this is true - and I believe it is - why does one racial group seem to have the right to wield this magic so disproportionately?"

Good question — one deserving of an answer beyond just the institutional prejudice built into the movie-making industry. The worst part of all: that it took this long for anyone to point out the overwhelming whiteness of a series meant to appeal to audiences of all colors. Watch the Every Single Word edit below.

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