Report Shows Audiences Prefer Diversity In Entertainment
The second annual Hollywood Diversity Report by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies has revealed that audiences, both minority and white, respond better to diverse entertainment content. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter:
“Hollywood is not progressing at the same rate as America is diversifying,” says Hunt, the center’s director and a sociology professor. “Audiences, regardless of their race, are clamoring for more diverse content,” says co-author Ana-Christina Ramon.
But despite the fact that audiences have made it clear that they prefer diversity in their entertainment, the “Hollywood Machine” isn’t interested in staffing accordingly based on their old practices.
The study blames the lack of diversity on agencies, guilds, studios and networks — “an industry culture that routinely devalues the talent of minorities and women,” reads the report.
In movies, minorities were underrepresented more than 2-to-1 (less than half as much as their share of the U.S. population) in lead roles and 2-to-1 as directors, and women lagged 2-to-1 as leads and 8-to-1 as directors (female-helmed films included 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty and The Guilt Trip and 2013’s Frozen and Carrie). Meanwhile, films with casts about 30 percent diverse did best at the worldwide box office.
However, Hunt says that as long as there is a “good old boy” system in place, change will remain slow:
“It’s a high-risk industry. People want to surround themselves with collaborators they’re comfortable with, which tends to mean people they’ve networked with — and nine times out of 10, they’ll look similar. It reproduces the same opportunities for the same kind of people: You’re surrounding yourself with a bunch of white men to feel comfortable.”
If the numbers show that more money is churned out by diverse casts, crews, directors and writers…why is Hollywood shooting itself in the foot by not being even more inclusive??