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6 Depressing Facts About Diversity in Film

12 Years A Slave
Francois Duhamel—Fox Searchlight

There are almost no minority characters in animated films

Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and Native American people are still grossly underrepresented in film, a new report says.

The Media Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism issues a report every three years analyzing diversity in film. In its most recent study, published Monday, the initiative analyzed the 600 top-grossing films over the last six years. Its report found there has been no meaningful change in the racial diversity of films since 2007, despite last year’s hits like 12 Years a Slave and Best Man Holiday.

Here are five other findings from the report:

  • Only a quarter of all 3,932 speaking characters were from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups in 2013’s films
  • Latinos were especially underrepresented: Only 4.9 percent of all speaking characters were Hispanic, even though that demographic represents 25 percent of the moviegoing population and Hispanic women are the most avid summer moviegoers
  • Animated films are the worst culprit: Less than 15 percent of animated characters in films from 2007, 2010 and 2013 (the last three reports) were from underrepresented groups, even though they are the films to which children are most frequently exposed
  • None of 2013’s top-grossing films featured a female director
  • Only 6 percent of directors across in 2013 films were black


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