Hollywood studios, networks and streaming services received failing grades across the board for diversity in hiring and casting of women, minorities and LGBT people last year, according to a comprehensive study released Monday by the University of Southern California.
“Overall, the landscape of media content is still largely whitewashed,” says the study by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the university’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Of the recent studies, this report is the most damning in its scope, describing a top-to-bottom disparity between the demographics of Hollywood and that of the rest of the United States.
Coming just days before Sunday’s Academy Awards, it also stokes the #OscarsSoWhite controversy triggered by the all-white acting nominees for the second straight year.
“The evidence points to the reality that has drawn public notice and vocal response: Hollywood has a diversity problem,” says the report. “The film industry still functions as a straight, white, boy’s club.”
Television and streaming services didn’t fare much better, the study showed.
Of the 414 films and series studied from 2014 to 2015, only a third of speaking characters were female, only 28.3 percent were minorities and 2 percent LGBT identified. The characters 40 years or older tended to be men.
Behind the scenes, directors overall were 87 percent white and nearly 85 percent male. More than 70 percent of writers were men.