As the Oscars approach, we again are reminded that #OscarsSoWhite. A scholarly report from USC entitled “Inclusion or Invisibility: Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment” yields some troubling statistics. These include a 2:1 ratio of male:female speaking roles and that only 28.3% of all speaking characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.
The film industry still functions as a straight, White, boy’s club. Girls and women are less than one-third of all speaking characters, and comprise a small percentage of directors and writers of the major studio and art house releases of 2014. Television/digital series are more balanced. Girls and women comprise 37.1% of characters and 42% of series regulars. Females also work more frequently behind the camera as directors and writers. Few women fill top leadership roles in media companies, though they are more prevalent in EVP and SVP positions. Thus, as power increases, female presence decreases.