Women Creatives Cast More Diverse Actors Than Their Male Counterparts, Luminate Report Finds

The study examines TV and movie projects from 2021-23

Issa Rae in "Barbie"
Issa Rae costarred in Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" (CREDIT: Warner Bros.)

When women are at the helm behind the camera, diversity in casting in front is significantly higher than when men are calling the shots, according to a new industry report from Luminate.

The report cited “Origin” director Ava DuVernay for having casts that are 80% diverse across her projects, “Barbie” helmer Greta Gerwig with 71% and “Abbott Elementary” creator and star Quinta Brunson with 86% as “leading the way” with their projects.

Women-directed movies averaged 12% more diverse casts than those directed by men, according to the study. On the television side, female show creators averaged 9% more diverse casts than men during the same time period.

The Entertainment Diversity Progress Report analyzed data about representation across film, TV and SVOD content from 2021-23.

Breaking down the percentage of film directors by gender per year: 18.7% in 2021 were women, 24.6% in 2022 and 18.6% in 2023. As the report points out, that means that women represented less than one-fifth of film directors in 2023.

The percentage of women creating TV shows peaked in 2022 at 28.9%, rising from 26.9% in 2021 before dipping to 26.5% in 2023.

“As conversations surrounding the importance of diversity continue, our goal with this report is to shed a light on the progress Hollywood is and is not making regarding inclusion and representation,” Luminate EVP and Head of Film & TV Mark Hoebich said.

“The data we’ve used to highlight these insights are objective, which is always our main priority as a trusted source of truth,” he added. “In keeping with our mission of sharing valuable information with our partners, we hope these findings help drive progress by measuring Hollywood’s commitment to funding authentic stories and hiring diverse talent.”

The report looked at changes in traditionally underrepresented groups including races, LGBTQ+ orientation and gender expression, as well as people with disabilities. The groups covered include Black, Latin/Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous and Middle East/North African people.

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