“Diversity. As Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy would say, it’s not just an old wooden ship used during the Civil War era. A debate has long been waged regarding the importance of inclusivity and diversity with regards to Hollywood casting. Although it seems like a no brainer, many major motion pictures have failed to capitalize on the potential benefits of a culturally and ethnically diverse ensemble. New studies have just been released that definitively prove that movies do better overseas when they include a diverse cast of performers, because science.
According to UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report (h/t Vulture), new evidence has come forward effectively dispelling the myth that predominately white, male-centric films maintain the best mass appeal. The results indicate that movies with an overall higher percentage of minority actors generally perform better than monochromatic, predominately white ensembles. In fact, films with roughly 50% minorities in the cast garnered the highest median box office gross overseas, far outperforming films with mostly white actors. Despite the apparent benefits of casting a diverse ensemble, an overwhelming percentage of major motion pictures feature only up to 30% minorities, but that number has been on the rise.
It should seem like common sense if we look back on some of the biggest successes over the last year. From the Fast and the Furious franchise, to Straight Outta Compton, to even Star Wars: The Force Awakens; these films maintained fairly diverse casts comprised of people from numerous races, genders, and ethnic backgrounds, and international audiences seem to have responded well to that with immense box office payoff…”