“The uproar over the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations is unlikely to abate by 2017, according to a USA TODAY examination of 184 movies to be released this year by 14 Hollywood studios.
The studios’ officially announced movie slates indicate it will be another year with disappointingly few minorities in major roles — and only a handful of women in director’s chairs.
USA TODAY surveyed 14 Hollywood studios to determine the diversity of their announced 2016 slates, breaking down 184 movies to be released in theaters this year. We looked at the casting of major acting roles and directors hired, as well as the male/female ratio for major roles. After we crunched the numbers, we assigned each studio a letter grade. Read more about our methodology here.
USA TODAY examined the credits for each movie, assigned points based on the number of women and minorities in the top spots, then issued a report card for each studio. The analysis did not assess the Oscar viability of these movies.
Studios with more than 12 releases in 2016
Studios with 12 or fewer releases in 2016
The bottom line: fewer opportunities for female or minority directors and black, Hispanic or Asian performers to earn Oscar nominations, let alone win one.
“So maybe it’s not as important as the civil rights movement, but it’s almost as important,” says Shawn Edwards, co-founder of the African-American Film Critics Association and film critic for a TV station in Kansas City, Mo. “Movies define our image and how our culture is perceived; they validate history. What does it say to historians 20, 40, 50 years from now? That this was what we thought was worthy on an artistic level?
“It’s damaging, and it’s important.”
The #OscarsSoWhite debate could be with us again this time next year — a repeat of 2015 and 2016, when all 20 acting nominations for the Academy Awards went to white performers. Studios probably will acquire a few festival films — which tend to be more diverse — before awards season rolls around again.
But that likely won’t be enough to offset what’s already in the works…”