Feb 24, 2016

    'White, male and straight' Hollywood: Study


    HOLLYWOOD is suffering an "epidemic of invisibility" among ethnic minorities, women and LGBT people, a new study showed on Monday, just days ahead of the industry's Oscars this weekend.

    From the boardrooms of film and TV studios to the actors, the industry is overwhelmingly white, male and heterosexual, the report by the University of Southern California (USC) found.

    "This is no mere diversity problem. This is an inclusion crisis," said Stacy Smith, of USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, who authored the report.

    The study comes with a social media campaign under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite threatening to overshadow the event.

    No ethnic minority actor or actress has been nominated in any of the top categories for the second year running, sparking an outcry against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    The report looked at Hollywood output aired from September 2014 to August 2015.

    Of 11,300 speaking characters in 414 film and TV series studied, one third were female while just 28 per cent were ethnic minorities, short of the proportion in society, usually estimated at about 40 per cent.

    Just 2 per cent were LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) while 74 per cent of characters aged over 40 were men.

    Around half the 305 shows and 109 movies did not feature Asian or Asian-American characters at all while a fifth had no black characters.

    Behind the camera, just 15 per cent of directors, 29 per cent of writers and 23 per cent of series creators were female.