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Wednesday
Sep042019

Study shows Hollywood boosting roles for women and people of color

Photo: Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros. EntertainmentAccording to a new report from USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 2018 saw a "record" number of Hollywood studio movies that featured leads who were either female or people of color.

The success of the acclaimed -- and super-successful -- Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians were just two examples. Black Panther's cast was almost entirely composed of people of color, and it featured many strong female characters; likewise, Crazy Rich Asians featured a predominantly Asian cast, with a female-driven story.

However, it didn't stop there: 39 of the 100 highest grossing movies in 2018 had a female in a leading or "co-leading role," reports Variety, which excerpted the report.

In 2017, that number was 33 -- and in 2007, just 20 films could boast that level of female representation.  2018 also marked a 12-year high in the number of black and Asian performers having speaking roles in films.

However, the Annenberg School survey also showed Hollywood falling very short when it came to representing the LGBTQ population, and those with disabilities.

"You’re basically seeing the erasure of whole communities," one of the study's authors, Marc Choueiti, tells the trade.  

There is still work to be done in other areas as well: Actresses accounted for 33.1% of speaking roles in 2018's top 100 films -- and of those, under 30% were dressed in revealing clothing, compared to less than 7.5% of male stars. On a related note, women were three times more likely to have a nude scene than their male co-stars.

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