The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity (CARD) is the first of its kind and another major blow against Hollywood representation. As the most exhaustive analysis of film and television representation released today by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, it portrays a sobering statistic of the entertainment industry’s gross lack of inclusion, no matter the media platform, from CEOs to minor characters.
The study examined 109 films released by major studios and their art-house divisions in 2014, 305 television and digital series across 31 networks and streaming services, and over 11,000 speaking characters for gender, racial and ethnic representation, and LGBT status. Additionally, it evaluated over 10,000 directors, writers, and show creators, and more than 1,500 executives at the different media companies based on gender.
Results found that only 28.3% of all speaking characters across 414 films, television and digital episodes in 2014-15 were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, which is 9.6% below the U.S. population norm of 37.9%. One-third (33.5%) of speaking characters were female, while behind the camera, a mere 15.2% of all directors and 28.9% of writers across film and every episode of television and digital series were female. Roughly one-fifth of all chief executives, corporate boards, and executive management teams were comprised of women. Of all LGBT characters, 72.1% were male and 27.9% were female. The vast majority of LGBT characters were White (78.9%) and only 21.1% were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.
Founding Director of the MDSC Initiative, Stacy L. Smith, said:
“This is no mere diversity problem. This is an inclusion crisis… Over half of the content we examined features no Asian or Asian-American characters, and over 20% featured no African-American characters. It is clear that the ecosystem of entertainment is exclusionary.”
“When we start to step back to see this larger ecology, I think we see a picture of exclusion… And it doesn’t match the norms of the population of the United States.”
Read more here.