Hollywood is supposed to be inclusive of all races and ethnicities, but according to a new diversity report, Tinseltown suffers from a lack of equal representation.
USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s latest diversity survey has unearthed the not so shocking truth: Since 2007, not much has changed in front of or behind the camera; in fact, it appears that Hollywood is “impervious to change.”
A portion of the Annenberg report states:
Just 31.4 percent of all speaking characters across the 100 top films from 2015 were female, a figure that has not changed since 2007. While race/ethnicity has been a major focus of advocacy in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, characters from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups were 26.3 percent of all characters. LGBT-identified characters represented less than 1 percent of all speaking characters. The report includes data on characters with disabilities, who filled a mere 2.4 percent of all speaking roles.
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founding Director of the Media, Diversity, & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative, was quoted as saying the findings of the Annenberg report “reveal that Hollywood is an epicenter of cultural inequality.”
NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans said, “There’s got to be an effort to break down this historic inequality.” Hollywood operates on a system that has “persisted with the same numbers since 2007, so obviously there has to be more sustained effort to bring change,” he added.
Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, weighed in: “Hollywood is America, so if we’re talking about what’s happening in Silicon Valley, it’s happening in Hollywood, it’s happening in corporate America.
“This is what happens when you literally have 397 years of Black oppression in this country.
“This comes down to money, this comes down to opportunity and the reality is, you have folks who don’t want to open that door for others to get in.”
Watch Roland Martin, Eric Deggans, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Hollywood’s systematic diversity problem in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty