2014 Hollywood Diversity Report Isn't Particularly Promising


UCLA’s Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies has released its 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report — predictably, for women and minorities, the results are dismal. And when you break down the minority portion by race, the figures are even more depressing.

The report analyzes 172 films that came out in 2011, as well as 1061 television shows that aired between 2011 and 2012 for the race and gender breakdowns of Lead Talent, Overall Cast, Show Creators, Writers, and Directors. Minorities and women were significantly underrepresented in each category. For example, in terms of Lead Talent, minorities in film are underrepresented by a factor of 3 to 1 while women are underrepresented by a factor of 2 to 1. For Broadcast comedies and dramas, that number jumps to 7 to 1 for minorities.

You can read the full results here. As for numbers not included in the report, I was curious as to how minorities employed film and television break down by race. Ralph Bunche Center Director Darnell Hunt was kind enough to provide some figures to that effect via email (“n” refers to the number of shows or films in each individual analysis):

1. Broadcast Comedies and Dramas
Show creator share: Asian=0% (n=96) Black=3.1%, Latino=1%, White=95.8%
Lead actor share: Asian=1% (n=99) Black=3%, Latino=1%, White=95%
Second actor share: Asian=1% (n=98) Black=8.2%, Latino=3.1%, Native=1%, Mixed=2%, White=84.7%
2. Cable Comedies and Dramas
Show creator share: Asian=1.4% (n=148) Black=6.1%, White=92.6%
Lead actor share: Asian=0.6% (n=156) Black=10.9%, Latino=1.3%, Mixed=1.9%, White=85.3%
Second actor share: Asian=0% (n=147) Black=14.3%, Latino=2.7%, Mixed=2.7%, White=80.3%
3. Broadcast Reality and Other
Show creator share: Asian=0% (n=29) Black=3.5%, White=96.6%
Lead talent share: Asian=1% (n=104) Black=9.6%, Latino=4.8%, White=84.6%
4. Cable Reality and Other
Show creator share: Asian=0% (n=52) Black=7.7%, Latino=3.4%, White=88.5%
Lead talent share: Asian=1.7% (n=464) Black=8.2%, Latino=2.8%, Mixed=.7%, White=88.6%
5. Theatrical Film
Director share: Asian=7.6% (n=172) Black=2.3%, Latino=2.3%, White=87.2%
Writer share: Asian=4.1% (n=172) Black=1.7%, Latino=1.2%, Other=.6%, White=92.4%
Lead actor share: Asian=3.5% (n=172) Black=3.5%, Latino=2.9%, Mixed=.6%, White=89.5%

When it comes to diversity, every racial minorities is neck-and-neck in lack of representation.

According to Dr. Hunt, these breakdowns weren’t included in the final report since the figures were too small to tie to ratings and box office totals. That last point is important because the Bunche report underscores the reality that racially diverse and gender equal films and shows do better on both counts. Perhaps when the Bunche Center analyzes subsequent years, shows like The Mindy Project or Scandal will skew the numbers in a better direction. However, given how dire the diversity situation is, there’s not much hope for that.

Image via AP.

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