Study Finds Hollywood ‘Woefully Out of Touch With an Emerging America’

Feb 12, 2014  •  Post A Comment

A new study on diversity in film and television finds that Hollywood’s idea of diversity doesn’t match reality. The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that the study from UCLA finds minorities and women remain far underrepresented.

"Hollywood still isn’t reflecting the nation’s diversity in its entertainment products, and that omission is costing the industry considerable amounts in lost revenues," the story reports. "That’s the main conclusion of a comprehensive report about diversity in the film and TV industry released Wednesday by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies."

The study, "2014 Hollywood Diversity Report: Making Sense of the Disconnect," analyzed more than 1,000 television shows from the 2011-2012 season, airing across 68 different cable and broadcast networks, and 172 American-made movies in 2011.

Minorities represented just 11% of the roles in the 172 movies, while non-white minorities make up about 36% of the general population, the study found.

"The fact is that America is becoming more and more diverse, but the Hollywood industry hasn’t kept up," center director Darnell Hunt, the lead author of the report, said. "There’s been a little progress, but it’s been at a glacial pace. Hollywood is woefully out of touch with an emerging America."

Referring to executives at Hollywood studios and TV networks, Hunt said: "They don’t see diversity as being good for the marketplace. They only address it when there’s protest and the cage is rattled."

The report adds: "The failure of Hollywood to accurately mirror the nation’s multicultural nature is putting a major dent in potential box office and ratings, added Hunt. Audiences tend to gravitate toward films and TV series that feature diversity, which translate into higher profits for networks and studios."

UCLA Prof. Darnell Hunt.jpgDarnell Hunt

One Comment

  1. How do they “know” the under represented percentage of minorities is “costing the industry considerable amounts of lost revenues.” How do they know? I don’t watch a show based on the racial makeup of the characters on the show. If it’s a good show, I watch it. If not, I don’t. I have never caught myself keeping score. I never been asked this type of question in a survey. Is this costing the program viewers? Or are sponsors staying away? It’s one thing to make a statement. It’s another to back it up.

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