In the wake of the complete whitewashing of this year’s Oscar nominees, much of this week has been dominated by controversy surrounding diversity and the Academy Awards. As numerous actors and Academy insiders have stepped forward to share their criticisms and solutions, it has become definitively clear that the diversity problem extends way beyond the Academy and reaches the industry as a whole. None of this should necessarily come as news to many readers, but the industry has received a huge wake up call this week and it seems like it will no longer be able to ignore these pressing issues.
Adding further fuel to hopefully inspire serious change are new interactive graphs and charts that shine a damaging spotlight on Hollywood’s gender divide and its effects on films. Created by Lyle Friedman, Matt Daniels and Ilia Blinderman of Polygraph, an online publication that explores popular culture with data and visual storytelling, these impressive charts use data consolidated by the Bechdel Test website to visually show how the gender discrepancy in writers, directors and creators lead Hollywood films to fail the Bechdel test time and time again.
What’s so impactful about Polygraph’s work is how the charts are as visually-driven as they are numbers-driven. You don’t need to be able to process data and read percentages to realize just how huge of an issue this really is. With the Polygraph team’s permission, Indiewire is able to showcase some of the stills from the most damaging charts, though readers should absolutely head to the Polygraph website in order to see all of the graphs and interact with them.
The 200 Highest Grossing Films: Bechdel Test Results and Gender Diversity of the Writing Team