Our generation has been known to be some of the most avid movie watchers of all time, and I am no different. I, like any other college student, spend a decent amount of time watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, or other “sites” (wink wink).
Overall, most blockbuster Hollywood movies have been noticeably lacking in diversity. Remember the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite? Well, it’s still here, and some people think it should be changed to #HollywoodSoWhite.
I read an article the other day about a recent “epidemic of invisibility” study conducted by researchers in California that analyzed more than 21,000 characters and behind-the-scenes workers on over 400 films and TV shows. They kept track of representations of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual status within each work.
The study discovered that only one-third of speaking characters were female. Did you know that females make up just over half the population of the United States? Something isn’t adding up here.
Additionally, only 28 percent of characters with dialogue were from non-white racial/ethnic groups, which make up 40 percent of the U.S. population.
Just a little over 3 percent of film directors were female, with only 7 percent being ethnically balanced. In broadcast TV, 17 percent of directors were female, and 19 percent of the programs were ethnically balanced.
In the end, the study discovered that, within the films selected for analysis, there were no Asian characters with dialogue. One-fifth of them did not have any black characters who spoke, and only 2 percent of speaking characters were identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, etc.
While Hollywood is one of the biggest industries in America, it is also one of our worst representations. The United States is becoming more diverse than we realize— Caucasians are quickly becoming the minority, but nobody is brave enough to point this out in our film industry.