Hollywood Blockbusters Are Still Overwhelmingly White and Male 


A new report by the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative finds that Hollywood-produced movies are still overwhelming white and male. The study, “Inequality in 700 Popular Films,” describes “epidemic” in the lack of diversity. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis has the breakdown:

The movies are white: 73.1 percent of all the speaking or named characters in the top 100 movies were white.
The movies are straight: Only 19 total characters were lesbian, gay or bisexual — none were transgender.
The movies are young: Only 19.9 percent of female characters were 40 to 64 years old.
The movies are male: Only 1.9 percent of the movies were directed by women.

Those numbers aren’t exactly surprising to anyone who has sat through a summer blockbuster, but the extreme lack of diversity will always make studies like this worth conducting and reading. Dargis points out that films like Selma and the Hunger Game series buck these trends, but they continue to be the exception—films that naysayers can point out as evidence of diversity—rather than the rule.

The Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative’s report, and others like it, will hopefully bring increased scrutiny to Hollywood’s hiring practices. Dargis reports that the industry’s discriminatory practices haven’t gone unnoticed: earlier this year the ACLU asked state and federal agencies to investigate the industry’s hiring practices.

Image via HBO/Warner Bros.

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