Surprise, Surprise: Women and Minorities Are Underrepresented In the Media

This is still an issue?

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Complex Original

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A report by the Women’s Media Center, a non-profit progressive women's media organization founded by some wonderful ladies, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, has found that women and minorities are underrepresented in the media. Surprise.

“As we compiled the findings in this third annual report and conferred with watchdogs and researchers who analyze newsrooms, film lots, broadcast studios, the digital sphere and more, we couldn’t avoid reaching the same concerning conclusion,” Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, said. “The American media have exceedingly more distance to travel on the road to gender-blind parity.”

Here are some key film and television related statistics found in the report:

  • In 2012’s top 100 films—when women had fewer speaking roles than in any of the five years—females snagged only 28.4 percent of roles with speaking parts.
  • Only six percent of the top 100 films in 2012 hired a balanced cast of women and men.
  • For production of the 250 top-grossing domestically made films of 2013, women accounted for 16 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors, slightly lower than the 2012 and 1998 figures.
  • Over a five-year period ending in 2012, the 500 top-grossing movies had 565 directors, 33 of whom were black and two of that 33 were black women.
  • Women had 43 percent of speaking parts in prime-time TV, according to the latest study, up from 41 percent previously. Those women tended to be much younger than their male acting counterparts.
  • More white women but fewer women of color have been directing prime-time TV shows but the overall numbers for women has remained virtually unchanged.
  • According to a two-month snapshot in 2013, men wrote 82 percent of all film reviews.
  • In 2012’s 100 top films, women were more than four times as likely as men to wear hypersexual clothing and roughly three times as likely as men to be partially naked.
  • Men outnumbered women 5-to-1 in key, behind-the-camera roles in 2012: Of the 1,228 directors, writers and producers, 16.7 percent were female. Women accounted for 4.1 percent of directors, 12.2 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers.
  • Angelina Jolie, the highest paid female actor, made $33 million—roughly the same amount as the two lowest paid male stars in Hollywood.

The report covers other forms of media too, such as video games and radio. Perhaps the most startling statistic involves sports journalism: According to the report, more than 150 print publications and websites covering sports—an arena whose editors are 90 percent white and 90 percent male—were slammed with an “F” in an Associated Press Sports Editors–commissioned study.

The report, which is contains original research conducted at the University of Southern California, San Diego State University and more was compiled and edited by journalist Katti Gray, Texas State University professor Cindy Royal, Ph.D., and the Center’s media relations manager, Cristal Williams Chancellor.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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