University Study Finds a Continuing Gender Gap in Hollywood Productions

uscThe latest data from the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles finds that women remain underrepresented in the top-grossing Hollywood films.

Of the 100 top-grossing films in 2015, women were just 31.4 percent of all the actors who held speaking roles. The number of women in leading roles did show an 11 percent increase over 2014. But only three of the 100 top-grossing films had a woman of color in a leading role.

The study found that of the 800 films studied, there were a total of 886 directors. Only 4.1 percent of these directors were women. The survey found that 11.8 percent of the writers of Hollywood films were women. Women made up less than 1 percent of all composers of film scores.

smith-stacyStacy Smith, an associate professor of communication at the University of Southern California and the director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, stated that “the findings reveal that Hollywood is an epicenter of cultural inequality. While the voices calling for change have escalated in number and volume, there is little evidence that this has transformed the movies that we see and the people hired to create them. Our reports demonstrate that the problems are pervasive and systemic.”

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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