The film and television industry is a “straight, white, boy’s club.” That’s the conclusion of a new study from the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Examining 109 movies and 306 broadcast, cable and digital series, the report finds that diversity in mainstream entertainment is severely lacking, With respect to studio films, a third of speaking roles belong to women, less than 30% go to minority groups and less than 2% are from the LGBT community. Even more striking is that 20% of films and shows contain no black characters at all.
However, the TV world is making more significant strides than the film industry. The broadcast networks include 17.1% female directors, 15.1% in the cable realm and 11.8% in streaming, while the film industry features a paltry female representation at 3.4%. In total, television and digital producers have achieved 65% diversity spread among women, minorities and members of the LGBT community combined in front of and behind the camera.
Helping to illustrate Hollywood’s diversity problem at the movies is John Oliver, who delivered an amusing segment on the topic on this weekend’s “Last Week Tonight.” Watch it below and check out more from the USC study at Variety.
Update 2/23: The Frame talked with the study’s authors, Stacy L. Smith and Katherine Pieper, about their findings, and have posted the full report.