A high-profile study released today provides an exhaustive and damning analysis of major media firms’ diversity problems. The AP reports that the study by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism finds that top Hollywood firms are “whitewashed,” citing an “epidemic of invisibility” at all levels when it comes to women, minorities and the LGBT community.
The study “gives a failing grade to every movie studio and most TV makers,” the AP reports. “Coming just days before an Academy Awards where a second straight year of all-white acting nominees has enflamed an industry-wide crisis, the report offers a new barrage of sobering statistics that further evidence a deep discrepancy between Hollywood and the American population it entertains, in gender, race and ethnicity.”
The study focused on the 109 films released by major studios in 2014 and 305 TV series aired from September 2014 to August 2015. “In the 414 studied films and series, only a third of speaking characters were female, and only 28.3 percent were from minority groups — about 10 percent less than the makeup of the U.S. population,” the AP reports. “Characters 40 years or older skew heavily male across film and TV: 74.3 percent male to 25.7 percent female.”
In scripted TV series, fewer than 40% of speaking characters were female. Behind the cameras, only 3.4 percent of film directors were female, while 87% of directors in film and scripted series were white, and 71.1% of writers were male.