University Study Finds a Continuing Racial Gap in Hollywood Productions

uscThe latest data from the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles finds that people of color remain underrepresented in the top-grossing Hollywood films.

Of the 100 top-grossing films in 2015, people of color were 26 percent of all the actors who held speaking roles. Seventeen of the 100 top-grossing films had no Black characters whatsoever. Only three of the 100 top-grossing films had a woman of color in a leading role.

The study found that of the 800 films studied, there were a total of 886 directors. Only 5.5 percent of these directors are Black.

Stacy Smith, an associate professor of communication at the University of Southern California and the director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, stated that “the findings reveal that Hollywood is an epicenter of cultural inequality. While the voices calling for change have escalated in number and volume, there is little evidence that this has transformed the movies that we see and the people hired to create them. Our reports demonstrate that the problems are pervasive and systemic.”

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