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CAIRO - 1 August 2017: Despite the recent push for more diverse characters in terms of race, gender and sexuality and for less domination of straight, white male leads, Hollywood has continued to slack off, even after movies such as ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Girl's Trip,’ ‘Get Out’ and ‘Moonlight’ helped to break the mold.
As the Daily Star reports, a recent study by the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has shown that, in general, Hollywood continues to be as white and male centric as it ever was, with little in the way of major change. The study showed that the lowest represented characters were women, people of Hispanic descent and those with disabilities.
The study has been running since 2007, examining the top 100 highest grossing movies of every year (apart from 2011). The results were nothing but disappointing, with little actual change being seen. In terms of leading roles and co-leading, women were underrepresented; out of 4,583 speaking characters, only 31.4 were women, and only 34 films had a female lead or co-lead. These numbers have remained unchanged since 2007, even a decade later.
White people also continue to remain dominant compared to other races, comprising 70 percent of all speaking characters. Hispanic people were hit the hardest compared to real demographics; in the survey, only 3 percent of the characters were Hispanic, whereas according to the latest U.S Census, they comprise at least 17 percent, whereas white people are only 60.1 percent.
Yet the ones least represented are women of color, with a considerable amount of movies featuring no speaking roles for them. Disabled people fared no better; despite being around 18 percent of the total USA population, only 2.7 percent of speaking characters had disabilities.
Until things improve and Hollywood takes more care to better represent the diversity of people living within the USA, major Hollywood films will continue to be male and white dominated, just as it has always been.
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