Shocker: New Report Shows Hollywood Is Still A 'Straight, White Boy's Club'
A new study calls Hollywood a 'straight, White, boy's club' based on the gender, race and sexual orientation of speaking characters in TV and film, as well as the identifies of the people behind the camera. In a study that will likely surprise no one, Hollywood has been found to be mostly comprised of straight, white men. The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity comes via the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Variety reports.
The report drew from 109 films and 305 TV shows that came out between September 2014 and August 2015, including broadcast, cable and digital series. In total, they analyzed 11,306 speaking characters. They found: 66.5% were male, while 33.5% were female. In film, female characters made up 28.7% of speaking characters, while in TV, women made up 36% of speaking roles in broadcast series, 37.3% in cable series and 38.1% in streaming series.
When it comes to leads, the study found that in film, 73.5% of leads are male. However, TV is more even, where 42% of series regulars are women.
Across all platforms, characters over 40 years old were much more likely to be men, and women were more likely to be shown in sexy attire or nude or referred to as attractive.
There were also issues when it came to the amount of men versus women both in front of and behind the camera. Only about 3.4% of film directors were women. TV wasn't much better: 17.1% of broadcast series directors, 15.1% of cables series directors and 11.8% of streaming series directors were women. While about half of entertainment companies' senior VPs were women, it's more rare to find women in higher positions. Only 35.9% of executive VPs and 23.7% of top executives are women. When it comes to corporate boards, chief executives and executive management teams, less than a fifth of them are women.
In the area of race and ethnicity, most speaking characters were found to be white if the characters were named or contained enough clues to reveal their race or ethnicity. A total of 71.7% of speaking characters were white, 12.2% were black, 5.8% were Hispanic/Latino, 5.1% were Asian, 2.3% were Middle Eastern and 3.1% were other. About half of the movies and shows had no Asian characters, while a fifth had no black characters.
Meanwhile, only 12.7% of film directors were minorities, while 9.6% of broadcast series, 16.8% of cable series and 11.4% of streaming series had minority directors. Only two directors were black women: Ava DuVernay, who directed Selma and Amma Asante of Belle.
Only 2% of speaking characters whose orientation could be identified—11,194 out of 11,306—were gay, bisexual or transgender: 158 were gay, 49 were lesbians, 17 were bisexual and only 7 were transgender. Six of the transgender characters appeared in streaming series. More than half of the gay characters in film appeared in just two movies: Pride and Love Is Strange.
Some of the most inclusive entertainment companies, according to the report, are Hulu, Amazon, Disney and the CW, while Time Warner, Sony and Viacom were rated the least inclusive.
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