Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Monday, February 22, 2016

Women and Representation

More on Women in Film and Onscreen

Yet another study focusing on diversity--or the lack of diversity--across media platforms in the entertainment industry. As if that news is surprising.

Today the USC Annenberg School for Communications  and Journalism released the latest study of representations of women, persons of color, and LGBT persons on screen and behind the scenes in movies and television. The numbers are not good. (For a post about another study, released just weeks ago, click here.)

The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment is, as its title suggests, comprehensive: the study includes films, broadcast television, and digital series from 10 major media companies: 21st Century Fox, CBS, Comcast NBC Universal, Disney, Sony, Time Warner, Viacom, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Altogether, the study covers 109 major motion pictures (released in 2014) and 305 prime-time broadcast series, cable series, and digital streaming series (from the 2014-15 television "season").

Here's just a taste: "For every female character speaking or named in a widely distributed TV show or movie, there are two male characters. For every female director making those shows and movies, there are 5.6 men. For every woman in the highest levels of decision-making at Hollywood studios, there are four men."

And: "For every non-white character on screen, there are roughly 2.5 white ones. For every non-white director, there are roughly 6.7 white ones."

And: "Just two percent of characters are identified as LGBT."

For a story in The Atlantic, from which the CARD's numbers have been quoted, click here.

The full CARD study is readily accessible and eminently readable--you can download a copy here.

But most important, keep this in mind when you're deciding where to spend your entertainment dollars . . . 

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