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The Business Case For Better Representation On Screen

We know that movies are fiction, but how much are they suspending the reality of the country, and of audiences?

As NPR reports, based on a new study of Hollywood diversity:

…people of color make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, yet they remain underrepresented on every front on all platforms, including lead roles, writers, directors and showrunners. It finds the same for the talent agents who serve as important industry gatekeepers.

The report also shows that despite making up more than half the population, women remain underrepresented. They gained some jobs in film and TV, but as film directors, they were outnumbered seven to one.

But is homogeneity hurting the bottom line? Variety reports that when movies like the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, “Get Out,” “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” draw big audiences, it behooves profit-minded executives to take notice.

As major studios struggle to fend off digital rivals like Netflix and Hulu, the box office performances of these kinds of diverse films provide a blueprint for how studios need to adapt to competition from television, where inclusive representation is greater and the quality of shows has increased dramatically in recent years.

Is Hollywood beginning to get the message?


Darnell Hunt, Sociologist and director of Ralph Bunche Center for African-American Studies, UCLA; @darnell_hunt

LaToya Morgan, Executive producer and writer at AMC Networks; @MorganicInk

Ricardo Lopez, Film reporter, Variety; @rljourno

Roberto Pedace, Economist, Scripps College; @RobertoPedace

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5

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