“Minority Women Nearly Invisible in Film”

“USC’s latest report on inequality in film found that minority women were “nearly invisible” in Hollywood. The research by USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative calls women an “endangered species” in action and animated films.

Academics analyzed the 100 top-grossing films for 2014 and found that none of of them, save for those with ensemble casts, featured a woman 45 or older. They found only three non-ensemble films that featured minority women.

The percentage of women in speaking roles has actually gone down since 2007, when about 30 percent of films featured speaking women, USC found. In 2014 that percentage is 28.1 percent. That’s about the percentage of films featuring women in sexy attire or at least partially nude.

When it comes to men, that figure is 8 percent.

The report says “females function as eye candy” in top-grossing movies. Only two of the directors in the top-grossing films were women. Less than one in five producers was female. About one in 10 writers was a woman. “Men outnumber women behind the camera at a rate of 5.3 to 1,” the school said in a summary.

“Our findings demonstrate that women appear very infrequently behind the camera, but women of color are nearly invisible,” said study co-author Katherine Pieper.

The researchers found that Latinos, in a town where one of every two people has Hispanic heritage, are “the most underrepresented compared to their presence in the U.S. population,” the summary says. About 17 percent of Americans are Latino, making it the largest minority in the United States. Latinos have surpassed whites as the largest ethnic or racial group in California.

In top-grossing films, Latinos got only 4.9 percent of speaking roles, USC found. African-Americans got 12.5 percent. And Asian-Americans got 5.3 percent. More than 40 films had no films that featured people of Asian descent as characters who talk, researchers found.

“Hollywood continues to marginalize or exclude certain members of society,” says USC Annenberg associate professor Stacy Smith, lead author of the study…”



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