A new study shows just how big the diversity problem is in Hollywood

Tessa thompsonWarner Bros.‘Creed.’

Researchers at the University of Southern California have released a new study that highlights just how bad the diversity issue is throughout Hollywood.

While much attention has been focused on the movie industry, with the #OscarsSoWhite campaign surrounding the second consecutive Academy Awards with all-white acting nominees, the USC study, titled “Inclusion or Invisibility? Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment,” shows that the the problem extends to TV, too.

The study found that in TV shows — including broadcast, cable, and streaming services — just 22 per cent of TV series creators were female, and women of colour over 40 were deemed “largely invisible.”

In movies, only a meager 3.4 per cent of film directors were female, and only 7 per cent of films had a cast whose balance of race and ethnicity reflected the country’s diversity.

The study analysed characters as well as people who worked behind-the-scenes in 400 films and TV shows released from September 2014 through August 2015.

And overall, just 28.3 per cent of characters with dialogue were from non-white racial/ethnic groups. Half the films and TV shows analysed had no Asian speaking characters, more than one-fifth of them had no black characters with dialogue, and two per cent of speaking characters were identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

“The film industry still functions as a straight, white, boy’s club,” the researchers wrote for their conclusion.

They also came up with solutions for change, which include “target inclusion goals” that are made public (like what the Academy has promised to do with its membership); “alter stereotypical thinking” when casting and writing scripts; and “build inclusive consideration lists” for writers and directors that contain 50% women and 38% people of colour.

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