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Hollywood's Failure To Embrace Black Storytellers Is Costing The Industry Money, Report Says

(Nathan DeFiesta/Unsplash)
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It’s hard to calculate the exact moral price tag of Hollywood’s propensity to hire so many white men.

But a new report assigns a very specific economic value to its failure to be more inclusive: $10 billion.

Every year.

That’s how much the movie and television business loses "by stifling Black talent throughout the film and TV industry ecosystem — and at every step of the content-development process," according to a study released Thursday by McKinsey and Company.

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The consulting firm concluded that filmed entertainment between the years 2015 and 2019 would have grossed 7% more had had persistent racial inequities been addressed.

The report studied more than 2,000 films and included interviews with dozens of industry leaders. It worked with the BlackLight Collective, a group of Black executives and creators.

Inclusive productions not only can connect with a broader audience — the nation’s population is about 40% non-white — but they also overperform despite being underfunded, the report found.

Part of the problem: who holds the power. McKinsey says just 13% of top executives in television are non-white, while the film percentage drops to only 8%. Until those numbers change, little else will.

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave incorrect percentages for non-white executives in the TV and film industries. This story has also been updated to more accurately reflect the study specifically addressed the lack of opportunity for Black professionals in the entertainment industry.

Monica Bushman contributed to this update.



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