A new report has found that Hollywood’s representation of most marginalized groups remains poor.
However, the film and television industry has improved its production of intersectional content, according to a report by data company Luminate.
The Entertainment Diversity Progress Report, released Monday (April 17) at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, found that Hollywood creators are increasingly thinking about how individuals are empowered through multiple identities across race, gender, sexuality and others be defined across areas.
While content that acknowledges the intersection of these identities allows films and series to “better explore and reflect the nuances of human experience,” diversity within representation remains an ongoing problem.
In terms of Indigenous talent, opportunities behind the camera have been described as “almost non-existent”, with only three Indigenous film directors named in 2021 and just four in 2022. On screen, only eight percent of films had at least one Indigenous lead in the title, and only three films focused on an Indigenous story in a way that was not “exploitative or tokenized.”
Visibility for people with disabilities was rated “by far the worst” of all groups analyzed.
The number of leading actor roles for people who identify as disabled has fallen from five in 2021 to three in 2022. As of 2021, this means less than one percent of films featured a lead actor with a disability.
During the same period, not a single film director has revealed that they have a disability, yet Hollywood released 15 films that featured stories about disabilities.
“The big question this raises is why studios and networks wouldn’t hire the people from this community whose stories are being used to monetize,” the report reads.
While there have been some improvements in gender diversity representation, progress remains stymied on several fronts.
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While Bella Ramsey was acclaimed for her role in The last of us, non-binary actors accounted for only 0.8 percent of “regular” series roles and 0.5 percent of main title roles in movies. The number of series regulars played by women also fell between 2021 and 2022.
Despite being one of the fastest growing communities in the US, representation of Hispanic and Hispanic people “consistently” declined.
The report found mixed progress for the black community after various studios pledged to fund more projects featuring black talent in the wake of the death of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
Last year, the number of black people in leading title roles increased by over 20 percent, even as the number of films with black stories in the foreground fell by 16.7 percent.
“While on the one hand it bodes well that there are more opportunities for Black talent in film, and increasingly in films that are not specifically targeted at Black narratives, it is discouraging to see fewer films that portray Black narratives,” he said the report.
Meanwhile, it is claimed that the apparent growth in Asian representation in TV series is “strongly aided by Netflix’s investment in language content.”
Among them were films and series that were praised for their diversity and intersectionality Neptune FrostHBO’s College Girls Sex Lifeand FX Reservation dogs.
The report is based on an analysis of scripted live-action projects from the US, UK and Canada in calendar year 2021-2022.