Gender Diversity Is Not a Star in the Hollywood Film Industry

In the latest of a series of reports on diversity in the Hollywood film industry, scholars at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, examined the race, ethnicity, and gender of more than 48,700 characters in 1,110 top grossing films during the 2007-to-2017 period.

The data shows that in 2017, women made up just 31.8 percent of the speaking roles in these films. This is slightly less than the rate of women in speaking roles in 2008. In 2017, women were 33 percent of the leading or co-leading characters in the top-grossing movies.

Some 25 percent of female characters were shown in full or partial nudity. For men, only 9.6 percent were shown in the nude or partially nude.

The report also found that women were 7.3 percent of the directors of the top-grossing films, 10.1 percent of the lead writers, less than one percent of the composers, and 21 percent of the producers.

The study was led by Stacy L. Smith, an associate professor of journalism and communication at the university. Dr. Smith joined the faculty at the University of Southern California in 2003. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The full report, Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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