- Associated Press - Sunday, February 21, 2016

A study to be released Monday by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is one of the most exhaustive and damning reports on diversity in the film and television industries.

Researchers examined films released in 2014 by the major film studios, as well as prime-time first-run scripted series that aired from Sept. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2015, from major broadcast, cable and streaming networks. Altogether, the study examined 109 films and 305 series. Research covered speaking characters, writers, directors, show runners and media company executives.

Some of its key findings:


- Female characters fill 28.7 percent of all speaking roles in film.

- 28.3 percent of speaking characters in film and scripted series were minorities, 9.6 percent less than their proportion in the U.S. population.

- 2 percent of speaking characters were identified as LGBT.

- In scripted series, less than 40 percent of all speaking characters were girls and women.

- 18 percent of all films and series were gender balanced; 8 percent of films were gender balanced.

- Among characters 40 years of age older, 74.3 percent were men and 25.7 percent were women.


- Only 3.4 percent of film directors were female out of 4,284 directors in film and scripted series.

- 87 percent of directors were white.

- Among 6,421 writers, 71.1 percent were male and 28.9 percent were female.

- 77.4 percent of show creators in television and digital series were male; 28.9 percent were female.

- Films and series with a female director had 5.4 percent more girls or women on screen than those directed by men.

- Roughly 20 percent of corporate boards, chief executives and executive management teams were women.


- In an ‘inclusivity index’ test of 10 major media company’s performance of on-screen portrayals and gender equality behind the camera, no film distributor earned a final grade above 30 percent inclusivity. Fox scored 5 percent; NBC Universal scored 10 percent; Sony scored 20 percent; the Walt Disney Co. scored 5 percent; Time Warner scored 0 percent; and Viacom scored 20 percent.

- The Walt Disney Co. and the CW Network scored best in television, each with a score of 70 percent inclusivity. Time Warner scored 15 percent; Fox and CBS scored 20 percent; NBC Universal and Netflix scored 25 percent; Viacom scored 50 percent; and Amazon and Hulu scored 65 percent.

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