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New Study Offers Most Comprehensive Analysis of Gender, Race/Ethnicity and LGBT Status In Popular Film Yet

New Study Offers Most Comprehensive Analysis of Gender, Race/Ethnicity and LGBT Status In Popular Film Yet

A new report from the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative has just been released, offering what they claim is the most comprehensive analysis of diversity in recent popular films (annual top 100) ever conducted, bringing together data assessing gender, race/ethnicity and LGBT status in movies. And as one can imagine, the results are troubling.

“The study reveals, for the first time, a complete picture of Hollywood’s indisputable bias against featuring females, people of color, and LGBT characters on screen,” they say.

Assessing every speaking or named character on screen—over 30,000 characters in all—from the top-grossing films released in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 (excluding 2011), the key findings from the report include:

  • Females represented just 30.2% of all speaking characters (30,835) across these 700 movies. 
  • Only 11% of the 700 films were gender balanced or featured girls/women in roughly half of all speaking parts.
  • 21 films in 2014 had a female lead or co-lead character, similar to what was observed in 2007 films (20%). Only 3 of the leads or co-leads were played by underrepresented female actors. None were played by women over 45 years of age. No female leads or co leads were Lesbian or Bisexual.
  • In the 100 top-grossing films from 2014, 26.9% of speaking characters were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.
  • 17 of the 100 top films in 2014 featured no Black or African American speaking characters. Over 40 featured no Asian characters.
  • Out of 4,610 speaking characters across 100 films from 2014, only 19 were Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual. Less than half of one percent (.4%) of all speaking characters in 2014 were LGB-identified.
  • No transgender characters appeared in the 100 top grossing films of 2014.
  • In 2014, 1.9% or 2 directors across the top 100 films were female.
  • Across the 700 top films from 2007 to 2014, 5.8% of directors were Black or African American and 2.4% were Asian.
  • There were 28 female directors who worked across the 700 top films from 2007 to 2014. Only 3 female directors were Black or African American and only 1 was Asian.

You can find additional results and the full report with infographics here.

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