study by the Center for Study of Women in Television and Film found the saddest news of the day: Women are still massively underrepresented in film. The report states that out of the top grossing films of 2013, 30% of the female characters had speaking roles, 29% were major characters and a grim 15% were protagonists. 

Here are some other key findings in the report:

  • "Female characters were less likely than males to have clearly identifiable goals or be portrayed as leaders of any kind."
  • "Female characters remain younger than their male counterparts. The majority of female characters were in their 20s (26%) and 30s (28%). The majority of male characters were in their 30s (27%) and 40s (31%)."
  • "Males 40 and over accounted for 55% of all male characters. Females 40 and over comprised 30% of all female characters."
  • "73% of all female characters were Caucasian, followed by African American (14%), Latina (5%), Asian (3%), other worldly (3%), and other (2%). Moviegoers were as likely to see an other-worldly female as they were to see an Asian female character."
  • "Female characters were more likely than male characters to have an identifiable marital status. 46% of female characters but 58% of male characters had an unknown marital status."
  • "A higher proportion of male than female characters had an identifiable occupational status. 78% of male characters but only 60% of female characters had an identifiable job/occupation."

A particularly telling detail is that males over 40 accounted for over half of all male roles. Is this because the folks writing, directing, and producing movies are overwhelmingly males over 40? Just some food for thought...it doesn't help that, as stated here, women accounted for 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors in 2012. 

[via A.V. Club]