41 Hollywood Diversity Stats From All Those Studies You Probably Haven’t Read

The individual statistics go well beyond the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. You’re up to speed with TheWrap’s comprehensive survey

hollywood diversity study
Media, Diversity & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative

In Hollywood, talk about diversity is the new black: Every day there’s another study, painting a new, often discouraging picture.

But the sheer number of studies, overwhelming as they are, may lead to fatigue that keeps people from reading them. And that’s an incredible shame, because individually and collectively, they provide Hollywood insights — and direction — into how to fix the problem.

So heading into Oscars weekend, we’ve combed through them to give you the individual stats — and the big picture. It goes far beyond #OscarsSoWhite.

Here are some of the key findings from recent studies by The Washington Post; Directors Guild of America; UCLA; the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative; The Wall Street Journal; San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Film  & Television; and USA Today:


Washington Post

1. 89 percent of the Academy’s director’s branch is male, as is 87 percent of its executives branch. (Washington Post)

2. Four of the 435 Academy Awards nominations for Best Director since 1927 have gone to women. Kathryn Bigelow is the only one to ever win. (Washington Post)

3. Only 6.4 percent of the 376 directors of feature films released in 2013-14 were women. (Directors Guild of America)

4. Only 3.1 percent of the directors of films that had a box office greater than $10 million in 2013-14 were women. (DGA)

5. For films released in 2014 and TV shows in 2014-15, 66.5 percent of speaking characters were male, and just 33.5 percent were female. (MDSC)

6. Additionally, 73.5 percent of the leads, co-leads or actors carrying an ensemble cast in films released in 2014 were male, and 26.5 percent were female. (MDSC)

7. Females in movies and TV are more likely than males to be shown in sexy attire (females, 34.3 percent vs. males, 7.6 percent), in situations involving nudity (females, 33.4 percent vs. males, 10.8 percent) and described as physically attractive (females, 11.6 percent vs. males, 3.5 percent). (MDSC)

Female Directors

8. In the same time period, 84.8 percent of directors were male, while just 15.2 percent were female. (MDSC)

9. Same time period: 71.1 percent of writers were male, and 28.9 percent were female. (MDSC)

Female Executives

10. Just 39.1 percent of corporate executives are female. (MDSC)

11. In 2012-13, women were outnumbered 2-to-1 among film leads, 8-to-1 among film directors, and 4-to-1 among film writers. (UCLA’s Bunche Center)

12. On TV, women were outnumbered nearly 2-to-1 in leading roles, nearly 2-to-1 among creators of broadcast scripted shows, more than 2-to-1 among creators of cable scripted shows and more than 4-to-1 among the creators of digital series. (Bunche Center)

13. Film studio heads were 100 percent male in 2012-13, film studio senior management was 83 percent male and film studio unit heads were 61 percent male. (Bunche Center)

14. In TV, network and studio heads were 71 percent male, senior management was 73 percent male and unit heads were 55 percent male. (Bunche Center)

15. Women comprised only 22 percent of protagonists and 34 percent of major characters in the top 100 grossing domestic films of 2015. (SDSU)

16. Women comprised 18 percent of antagonists of the top 100 grossing domestic films of 2015. (SDSU)

17. Female characters were less likely than males to have an identifiable goal (females, 49 percent vs. males, 60 percent). Female character’s goals were more likely to be related to their personal lives (females, 14 percent vs. males, 5 percent). (SDSU)

18. In films with at least one female writer or director, women comprised 50 percent of protagonists. Without female writers or directors, that number drops to 13 percent. (SDSU)

19. Women made up 19 percent of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2015. (SDSU)

20. Of the top 100 films, women filled just 16 percent of the same roles. (SDSU)

21. 33 percent of the top 250 films of 2015 employed zero or one woman. Comparatively, just one percent employed zero or one man. (SDSU)

22. Paramount, Lionsgate and Open Road have zero films slated for 2016 directed by women. (USA Today)


Washington Post

23. A whopping 84 percent of the Academy’s directors branch, and 96 percent of the executives branch, is white. (Washington Post)

24. Four-hundred-and-twenty-three of the 435 Oscars’ Best Director nominations since 1927, about 97 percent, have gone to white directors. (Washington Post)

25. Roughly 20 percent of the nearly 150 executives who oversee production of wide-release films at the seven top studios are nonwhite. (Wall Street Journal)

26. Just 16 percent of the approximately 100 executives at the vice-president level or higher are nonwhite. (Wall Street Journal)


27. In 2013-14, just 12.5 percent of the 376 directors of feature films were minorities. (DGA)

28. Same time period: Just 1.3 percent of the 376 directors of features were minority women. (DGA)

Racial Minorities TV

29. For films released in 2014 and TV shows from 2014-15, 71.7 percent of speaking or named characters were white, with 28.3 percent from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. (MDSC)

30. Only 12.2 percent of characters were Black, 5.8 percent were Hispanic/Latino, 5.1 percent were Asian, 2.3 percent were Middle Eastern and 3.1 percent were another race. (MDSC)

31. Just 21.8 percent of leading characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. (MDSC)

32. In 2014, 87 percent of the 407 directors who released films or television series were white. (MDSC)

33. In 2012-13, minorities were outnumbered more than 2-to-1 among film leads, 2-to-1 among film directors, and 3-to-1 among film writers. (Bunche Center)

34. White scripted leads outnumbered minorities nearly 6-to-1 on broadcast television, and nearly 2-to-1 on cable and digital. (Bunche Center)

35. White series creators outnumbered minority series creators more than 6-to-1 on broadcast TV, more than 3-to-1 on cable, and more than 7-to-1 on digital platforms and in syndication. (Bunche Center)

36. Film studio heads were 94 percent white in 2012-13, studio senior management was 92 percent white, and studio unit heads were 96 percent white. (Bunche Center)

37. In television, network and studio heads were 96 percent white, senior management was 93 percent white, and Television unit heads were 86 percent white. (Bunche Center)



38. Two percent of the 11,194 speaking characters across 414 movies, TV shows and digital series from 2014 were either lesbian, gay or bisexual. (MDSC)

39. Only seven speaking or named characters identified as transgender, with six of them appearing on streaming series. (MDSC)

40. In the 2012-13 season, 88.9 percent of lead characters were heterosexual, 11.1 percent were “unclear,” and zero were either gay or bisexual. (Bunche Center)

41. Bisexual and homosexual characters did not appear before the fourth credited actor on TV shows from the 2012-13 season. (Bunche Center)