Study Shows Movies Are (Obviously) Largely About White Guys

As we approach another very white Oscars, a new study out of USC shows just how bad movies are when it comes to representing people who aren't white men. The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment assessed 2014 releases by major studios and found that only 28.7% of speaking roles were filled by women. Meanwhile, only 26.7% were inhabited by people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. The study also revealed that out of 109 movies, 20 had no Black characters, and 55 had no Asian characters.

The numbers get even worse when you look at who directs the films. Only 3.4% of film directors were women, while only 12.7% were from underrepresented groups.

The study also analyzed TV across broadcast, streaming, and cable networks. Interestingly enough, film actually did better than broadcast and streaming when it came to hiring minority directors. Still, the numbers are particularly damning for the film industry in light of the conversation surrounding the Oscars. Today, USA Today also released a Hollywood diversity report card, which graded studios based on their announced 2016 releases. The analysis "shows a discernible lack of minority and female faces in major roles and among the directors of the films being released between January and December 2016," USA Today wrote. "In fact, there's a striking number of movies in which there are only white faces." Sony was the only studio with more than 12 releases to get a B grade, every other studio did worse. Paramount had an F.

The New Yorker also made a bold statement today with its new cover, by artist Daniel Clowes — gold Oscar statues are seen in the foreground, while a bouncer holds back silver and bronze ones.
Photo: Courtesy of the New Yorker.

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