NEW! 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report: Making Sense of the Disconnect

Hollywood Disconnect

 

February 12, 2014

The Bunche Center at UCLA releases the “2014 Hollywood Diversity Report:  Making Sense of the Disconnect.”  To download (and now print) a copy, CLICK HERE.  To read the UCLA press release, CLICK HERE.

COVER-2014 Hollywood Diversity Report-2-12-14This report is the first in a series of studies by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA to explore the relationships between diversity and the bottom line in the Hollywood entertainment industry.

The Data

The report examines the top 172 theatrical films released in 2011 (ranked by box office) and 1,061 television shows airing during the 2011-12 season on six broadcast networks and 62 cable networks.

Major Findings

1.  Film Diversity

  • Among film leads, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of greater than 3 to 1 and women by a factor of 2 to 1.
  • Among film directors, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of 3 to 1 and women by a factor greater than 12 to 1.
  • Among film writers, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of 5 to 1 and women by a factor of 3 to 1.

2.  Television Diversity

  • Among broadcast comedy and drama leads, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of 7 to 1, while women reached proportionate representation.
  • Among cable comedy and drama leads, minorities were underrepresented by a factor greater than 2 to 1 and women by a factor of less than 2 to 1.
  • Among broadcast reality and other leads, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of more than 2 to1 and women by a factor of 2 to 1.
  • Among cable reality and other leads, minorities were underrepresented by a factor greater than 2 to 1 and women by a factor of less than 2 to 1.
  • Among the creators of broadcast comedies and dramas, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of less than 9 to 1 and women by a factor of 2 to 1.
  • Among the creators of cable comedies and dramas, minorities were underrepresented by a factor of 5 to 1 and women by a factor greater than 2 to 1.

3.  Accolades

  • The lack of diversity in Motion Picture Academy membership was reflected in Oscar awards.
  • The lack of diversity in Television Academy membership was reflected in Emmy awards.

4.  Gatekeeping

  • The dominant talent agencies contributed little to film and television diversity.

5.  Diversity and the Bottom Line

  • Films with relatively diverse casts excelled at the box office and in return on investment.
  • Television shows whose casts reflect the nation’s diversity excelled in ratings.
Conclusion

There is an apparent disconnect between the industry’s professed focus on the bottom line and actual staffing practices in film, broadcast television, and cable.  While findings suggest that films and television shows with relatively diverse casts tend to excel in terms of box office and ratings, respectively, the lion’s share of films and television shows examined lacked diverse talent in front of and behind the camera.  This disconnect does not bode well for the Hollywood industry, as the nation’s population continues to diversify at a dizzying rate.  Hollywood’s bottom line would be advanced by implementing forward-looking project development and staffing practices that are in sync with the emerging America.

For more information about the Hollywood Advancement Project, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about supporting this important research project and its annual diversity report, please contact Chia Yen, Executive Director of Development, UCLA Institute of American Cultures at cyen@support.ucla.edu or  310.206.6872.  To learn more about how to support the Bunche Center, you may also visit https://giving.ucla.edu/bunche.

 

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