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Talk Is Cheap: Diversity In Hollywood Has Not Improved In 10 Years

Talk Is Cheap: Diversity In Hollywood Has Not Improved In 10 Years

A recent study on the diversity in film has revealed that it has not improved over the last 10 years.

As of late, comments have been made about how the media and film industries are becoming more progressive in their diversity. However, the sad reality is that while awareness has increased, the numbers show no improvement in regards to diversity in these industries. 

A recent study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Dr. Katherine Pieper, Ariana Case, & Angel Choi from the University of Southern California, lists extensive examples and numbers showing the stagnancy of the film industry. The study is published under the title Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017.

The study looks at women in film, minorities in film, LGBTQ characters in film, and characters with disabilities. They show each of these results in easy to read graphs, each one showing minimal improvement bewtween 2007 and 2017. 

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 All photos courtesy of USC -  Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017

All photos courtesy of USC - Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017

In 2017, there were multiple movies that "pushed the envelope" for diversity. For example, Love, Simon featured a gay kid in high school working through the emotions and challenges of coming out to his family, friends, and classmates. Black Panther is the first superhero movie to feature an all black cast. Get Out touches on the horrors of white supremacy and racism. Oceans 8 is a wholly female driven movie. Each of these films was ground breaking as far as their characters go, but it is still not enough to make a dent in the overall numbers - especially in the production world. Most of the people working on set behind the scenes are primarily white men (especially in regards to directors in Hollywood). 

The study summarizes its findings in this graph, calling it a "crisis in film:"

 Photo courtesy of USC -  Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017

Photo courtesy of USC - Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017

In addition to stating the diversity problem, the study also lists off different steps that Hollywood can take in order for there to be a difference in diversity the next 10 years. The list includes setting target inclusion goals, combatting implicit &  explicit bias, establishing and equity rider, creating inclusive consideration lists, just adding five female characters to each film, encouraging shareholder activism, ensuring environments that do not trigger stereotypes, supporting inclusive films. 

What do you think? Can Hollywood work to become more diverse? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to The Sitch for more entertainment news. 

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