Study Finds Lack of Racial Diversity in Hollywood’s Top-Grossing Films

usclogoA new analysis conducted by researchers at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, finds that people of color are underrepresented as characters in the 100 top-grossing films for the years 2007 to 2014.

The study examined more than 30,000 speaking roles in the 100 top-grossing films for each year of the study. The results showed that under 27 percent of all characters with speaking roles in these films were members of underrepresented minority groups. Only 17 percent of the films had a lead actor from an underrepresented minority group. In 2014, 17 of the top-grossing films did not feature one Black or African American speaking character.

In 2014, less than 5 percent of the directors of the top-grossing films were Black. Over the seven-year period, 5.8 percent of the directors were Black.

The full report, Inequality in 700 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race and LGBT Status From 2007 to 2014, may be downloaded by clicking here.


Comments (2)

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  1. Michael says:

    The so-called neoliberal researchers at the Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism (ASCJ) at USC don’t really want to see substantive changes in the Hollywood film industry. If such was the case, the ASCJ would exhaustively conduct research and reveal whose behind the decision making. Thereby, such person can be dutifully held accountable by the public at the box office. Unfortunately, ASCJ is merely recycling their previous work along in an attempt to make it appear they’re producing “cutting edge” research. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    • James says:

      You’re absolutely. The research was simply not deep enough. A more effective approach to study should have looked into racial bias in casting characters or the number of auditions a black actor/actress has to endure just to land character, compared to a white actor. Another note, I could have conducted this study myself, with no such funding(s), by going on Wikipedia and typing in “High Grossing Films of All Time” and simply looked-up actors who starred in the the “Top 100 grossing films for the years 2007-2014.” The results would have unsurprisingly supported my hypothesis.

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