Hollywood Faces ‘Inclusion Crisis,’ New Diversity Study Finds

“Over half of the content we examined features no Asian or Asian-American characters,” directorof Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative says

A new study has found that female directors are outnumbered by males nearly 6 to 1 in the film and television industries.

Along with the staggering disparity between male and female directors, the study found that only 28.3 percent of all speaking roles were held by minority groups, which is 9.6 percent below the U.S. population representation of those groups.

Women held just 33.5 percent of all speaking parts, and 28.9 percent of all writing positions. Just 22.6 percent of all series creators were female.

The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity, conducted by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, examined 109 films released by major studios and their art-house divisions in 2014.

It also looked at 305 television and digital series across 31 networks and streaming services in addition to 11,000 speaking roles, 10,000 directors, writers, and show creators, and more than 1,500 media executives.

“This is no mere diversity problem. This is an inclusion crisis,” said professor Stacy L. Smith, founding director of the MDSC Initiative. “Over half of the content we examined features no Asian or Asian-American characters, and over 20% featured no African-American characters. It is clear that the ecosystem of entertainment is exclusionary.”

“This is a landmark study,” Smith continued. “No one has looked from CEO to every speaking character across film, television, and digital content. The results speak to the landscape of media and the erasure of different groups on screen and behind the camera.”