Last summer USC conducted an extensive study on Hollywood diversity, putting dire numbers on a fact we already know: Hollywood is white AF. It's also SUPER male and hetero as hell. Today, less than a week before the Oscars—which has come under fire for once again having only all-white actor nominees—the same university division (the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism) has published another study, showing just how bad the issue is, and how it exists on every level of the industry.
USC is calling it an "epidemic of invisibility," even including an "inclusivity index" that gives grades to major networks: Every film studio failed, as did most TV networks. Here it is by the numbers:
The study took 109 films by major studios in 2014 and 305 scripted, first-run TV/digital series from September 2014 to August 2015, then analyzed all 414 projects by diversity representation (gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation). Over 11,000 characters, 10,000 directors/writers/showrunners, and 1,500 executives were examined. The results showed only a third of speaking characters to be female (with the male-female ratio being 74.3 percent to 25.7 percent in the over-40 category), 28.3 percent from minority groups, and only two-percent LGBT-identified. Only seven of the 11,306 characters studied were transgendered, and four of those seven were from the same series.
It gets worse. Film directors are 87 percent white and TV directors 90.4 percent . The gender gap in television is also terrible (15.2 percent of directors, 28.9 percent of writers, and 22.6 percent of show creators are female) but it's even worse in film, with only 3.4 percent of the sample movies directed by women.
Those numbers give you a depressing headache? Same. Here's a segment from John Oliver that's funnier but no less the harsh reality:
And don't miss our roundtable series on Racism on Hollywood. You can watch Part One right here: