A new study conducted at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles has found that Blacks are poorly represented in the Hollywood film and television industries. Lead author Darnell Hunt, director of the Bunche Center and a professor of sociology at UCLA, stated, “The report paints a picture of an industry that is woefully out of touch with an emerging America, an America that is becoming more diverse by the day.”
The UCLA analysis looked at the top-grossing 172 films made in the United States in 2011 and more than 1,000 televisions shows across 68 cable and broadcast networks. The data showed that minorities were featured in starring roles in films at a rate that was one third of what would exist if these roles mirrored the minority population of the U.S. As directors, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of three to one and as writers by a factor of five to one.
“The situation is better than it was in the 1950s, but Hollywood is falling further and further behind,” Professor Hunt said. “America is infinitely more diverse than it was. So the gap has gotten bigger between where America is going and where the industry is going.”
Below is a video of Dr. Hunt discussing the study.