Women, Minorities Still Lag Far Behind in Hollywood, Study Shows

Ava DuVernay (L) and Phylicia Rashad onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards
Ava DuVernay (L) and Phylicia Rashad onstage during the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards

Hollywood has a diversity problem — and it’s not getting any better.

According to a new study by University of Southern California Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, nonwhite characters have been featured less than 30 percent since 2007 – a contrast to the U.S. minority population of 37 percent.

Taking a look at gender and race portrayed on the big screen and the players behind the scenes, the study examined the top 100 highest-grossing films from 2007 through 2014 (excluding 2011), and LGBT representation in 2014.

Here are the findings.

1. Only 30.2% of characters in film were female.

2. Only three women of color, out of 21 females, held leading roles in 2014.

3. No women of color over the age of 45 top-lined a movie in 2014.

4. Since 2007 through 2014, 12.5% of characters were black, 5.3% were Asian and 4.9% were Latino.

5. Asian actors had no speaking parts in more than 40 of 2014’s top 100 grossing movies.

6. Black actors had no speaking parts in 17 of 2014’s top 100 grossing movies.

7.  LGBT characters were featured in 0.4% of 2014’s top 100 movies, despite reflecting 3.5% of the American population.

8. No transgender characters were featured in 2014’s biggest films.

9. Women and minorities are underrepresented as filmmakers. Of the 779 directors of the 700 most popular films since 2007, 28 were women, 45 were black and 19 were Asian.

10. In 2014, only two women and four African Americans helmed the top 700 films.

11. Movies written by women included nearly 10% more female characters and 7.8% more middle-aged characters.

12. Black directors featured 40% more black actors compared with 10.6% without.

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