UCLA Reports Spotlights the Lack of Gender Diversity in Hollywood

The University of California, Los Angeles recently published its fifth annual Hollywood Diversity Report. The study looks at the casts of the top 200 theatrical releases of 2016 and 1,251 broadcast, cable and digital platform television shows from the 2015–16 season. The report also examined the gender gap in Hollywood behind the camera.

The report found that men outnumbered women as lead characters in feature films by a margin of 2 to 1. Across all ethnic groups, women in film roles were underrepresented compared to men of the same ethnicity. Only 6.9 percent of the directors of these top films were women, down from 7.7 percent the year before.

Women remained underrepresented, compared with their numbers in the U.S. population overall, in all 11 employment categories the report examines; and they actually lost ground, compared with last year’s figures in several categories. The job title with the best gender parity was lead actor roles in cable scripted shows, of which 45 percent were held by women.

Ana-Christina Ramón, director of research and civic engagement for the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA, and co-author of the report, stated that “achieving gender equity in high-powered positions at the studio and network level, as well as in creative roles behind the camera, will help shift the culture. However, both men and women must make a concerted effort to make this happen and to hold the industry accountable for a safer environment where women can thrive.”

Dr. Ramon is a graduate of Stanford University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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