Movies aren’t very diverse because most directors are white men — and that’s not changing
Professor Stacy Smith released a report showing a shocking inequality for women, people of color, the disabled and LGBT people in Hollywood films.
During a Monday appearance on CBS This Morning, Smith explained the findings of a 2017 report revealed despite Hollywood being run by a majority of progressive political funders, it still lacks the diversity seen in the rest of the country. Between 2015 and 2016 there was a zero percent change in the number of female speaking characters on film. Yet, Smith found that films that are directed by women often feature much more diversity in race and gender.
“We need more female directors to be calling the shots behind the cameras,” Smith explained.
Co-host Charlie Rose mentioned Reese Witherspoon, who has founded her own female-centric production company to produce films that are empowering of women.
“Right, but we need women in those key leadership positions as those directors,” Smith said, nothing producers are great but directors make many of the creative decisions such as characters and actors on films.
The production side isn’t much better for women. Only 4.2 percent of directors are female and of those women, the vast majority were white. A merger 13.2 percent of writers are women and male composers make up 98.3 percent of the field. The highest number of women on the production side of Hollywood comes from producers, still only one in five are women.
Out of the 900 films in 2016, there was a 29.2 percent rate of under-represented characters on film. A whopping 70.8 percent of characters were white with only 13.6 that were black, 3.1 percent Hispanic and 5.7 percent Asian. In a town practically owned by LGBT people, an astounding 76 percent of films didn’t have an LGB character. There were zero transgender characters and in 2015 there was one. Of those LGBT characters who do make it into the film, 79.1 percent are white.
It’s even worse when it comes to characters depicted with a disability. In the United States today there are an estimated 48.9 million people, or 19.4 percent of Americans who have a non-institutionalized disability. Yet, in Hollywood films, only 2.7 percent of characters have a disability.
Watch a short clip of the interview below:
"We need more female directors to be calling the shots behind the camera," USC Prof. Stacy Smith says of her analysis of diversity in film. pic.twitter.com/JhDdY7vg1f
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 31, 2017