It’s that time again. Time for our more-or-less annual review of the new studies coming out on diversity in Hollywood.
Second verse, same as the first.
GLAAD’s annual Studio Responsibility Index was released recently, and the bottom line is there was no improvement in the inclusion of LGBT characters in Hollywood movies. Most of these films gave these characters ten minutes or less of screen time, and most of them flunked the Vito Russo test — in other words, there was a “notable resurgence” of LGBT characters who were too often used solely as a punchline.
A little bit louder and a whole lot worse.
Onward… and UCLA’s Bunche Center demonstrates in their annual Hollywood Diversity Report that diverse casts including more women and minority characters is good for the bottom line. Ratings, social media engagement, and financial earnings all reap the rewards of diversity; yet Hollywood still resists that trend. Jobs across the industry, both in front of and behind the camera, go disproportionately and overwhelmingly to white men. As one example, people of color made up 12.9% of the lead roles in 163 films examined for 2014, despite making up 40% of the American population. The numbers in several key areas backslid from the previous year’s report, with women ending up with the shortest of the short straws.
With #OscarsSoWhite trending two years running, you’d think that at least the big studios would be inclined to follow the money. Not yet, I guess.