“The reaction in Hollywood to USA TODAY’s examination of diversity in forthcoming movies runs the gamut from silence to defensiveness to grim validation.
In the analysis published Monday, USA TODAY looked at 184 movies announced for release in 2016 by 14 studios and found a lack of minority and female faces in major roles and among directors.
The findings suggest that the 2017 Academy Awards might be a third year in a row in which all major nominees are white — another year of #OscarsSoWhite.
“I am not at all surprised by the results,” says Daniel Mayeda, co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition.
His organization is one of four major activist groups, including the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the NAACP Hollywood Bureau and the American Indians in Film and Television, that make up the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which launched a new effort this month to get studios to be more inclusive.
“I’m happy the study has been done, and it’s very useful to have those kinds of metrics,” Mayeda says. “It’s another spotlight on this problem that’s been out there a long time in Hollywood.”
His views are echoed by Robin Harrison, acting head of the NAACP’s Hollywood branch. She says USA TODAY’s study and a similar study by the University of Southern California “shine a brighter light on an issue that has not been addressed satisfactorily.”
She says the coalition has been meeting with TV networks for 15 years, and as a result, TV is making more headway than film: “It’s not a big difference, but the needle has shifted slightly.”
She promised to keep pressing for changes, including “more people of color working in all positions … from sitting on studio boards to green-lighting productions; more diverse storylines that reflect the demographics of the ‘real world’; and more roles for all races, ethnicities and genders….
…Film studios weren’t rushing to respond to USA TODAY’s analysis, which issued report cards based on the number of women and minorities in their announced movies. None earned an A grade. Only four earned a B, and most received no better than a C. One studio, Paramount, earned an F…”