Yet another study, this one from the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California, demonstrates just how bad the lack of diversity in Big Studio Hollywood movies is. The new data basically confirms previous studies; adding to the growing body of evidence that Hollywood has a problem, and it’s not going away.
One particularly troubling data point discovered in this study is “no female actors over 45 years of age performed a lead or co-lead role” in the 100 top-grossing films of 2014. This despite the fact that men continue to be cast as stars well into middle age and beyond, their peak earnings coming at the age of 51, versus women’s peak earnings at age 34.
If that’s not a clear statement that women’s stories are only valued as narratives of an attractive object — attractive to a very narrow sensibility — I don’t know what is.
Hollywood producers view the world through a very specific and very narrow lens. This lens only captures a tiny fraction of our reality, our cultures, and our lives. We are real people with stories of our own, stories that exist, and have always existed, whether the guys in charge wanted to acknowledge them or not. At a time when Hollywood has seemingly run out of new ideas, choosing instead to create more formulaic sequels and reboots, isn’t it way past time to tap into this treasure trove of untold stories?