Women and Minorities Still Underrepresented in Hollywood



The recently released 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report, conducted by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, reveals that women and minorities are growing in television and movies. The report reviewed 168 theatrical films released in 2015 and over 1,200 television programs during the 2014-15 season.

Report Findings

  • minority actors secured 11.4 percent of leading roles in broadcast scripted television, up from 8.1 percent the previous year
  • the percentage of broadcast shows whose casts are primarily people of color increased from 3.3 percent in 2013-14 to 8.9 percent in 2014-15
  • Women’s presence as leads in scripted broadcast and cable television shows increased by 2.4 percent in both categories
  • women comprise 20.9 percent of scripted cable show creators, up 2.7 percent from the year prior
  • women directed 7.7 percent of top films in 2015, a three percentage point increase from 2014
  • minorities decreased in film writing credits by 2.7 percentage points and in film directing credits by 2.8 percentage points
  • the minority share of lead roles in top films was 13.6 percent in 2015, a minimal increase from 12.9 percent in 2014
  • women claimed 29 percent of lead roles in top films, up from 25.8 percent the previous year but down from 30.8 percent in 2012

Minorities are underrepresented on every front in 2014-15, including:

  • nearly 3 to 1 among film leads
  • nearly 4 to 1 among film directors
  • greater than 7 to 1 among film writers
  • greater than 2 to 1 among cable scripted leads

Women are underrepresented on every front in 2014-15, including:

  • nearly 2 to 1 among film leads
  • more than 6 to 1 among film directors
  • nearly 4 to 1 among film writers
  • nearly 2 to 1 among cable scripted leads

At their CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo yesterday, the MBA featured Women’s Networking Event: A Conversation with Nina Tassler, in which the Advisor and Former Chairman of CBS Entertainment shared her professional journey and lessons on raising the next generation of empowered women, with MBA COO and moderator Marcia Davies.

With Tassler’s leadership, CBS has been America’s number one network 12 of the last 13 years, with several shows featuring women in leading roles. Even though it’s been slow-moving, the progress women and minorities are making in Hollywood is critical.

More women and minorities on camera and behind the scenes means increased gender and racial equality. Studios making decisions based solely on financial concerns should remember that diverse entertainment is profitable. “Despite false claims to the contrary, there is no tradeoff in Hollywood today between diversity and profitability,” the report states. “Diversity is clearly a plus factor for the bottom line.”

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