University Study Examines the Racial Gap in Hollywood Director’s Chairs

A new study led by Stacy L. Smith, an associate professor of communication at the University of Southern California and the director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, shows that Blacks have been directors of very few of Hollywood’s most successful productions over the past decade. The data shows that of 100 top grossing films each year during the 2007-to-2017 period, only 64 were directed by African Americans. And only four of those were directed by Black women.

There has been no progress over the past decade. In 2007, eight of the top grossing films had a Black director. This total has not been achieved again since that time.

During this period, 108 of the top 1,110 highest-grossing Hollywood films were distributed by Walt Disney Studios. Not one was directed by an African American, according to the report. In contrast, 18 of the 98 films distributed by Lionsgate, 18 had a Black director.

The full study, Inclusion in the Director’s Chair? Gender, Race, and Age of Directors in 1,100 Films From 2007 to 2017, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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  1. teri says:

    There are endless studies. We already know that racial minorities and women are underrepresented so what is being done to change it?

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