‘Pervasive and Systematic’ LGBT inequality in Hollywood, report finds
A new report has revealed there is a “pervasive and systematic” inequality against women, LGBT people and minorities in Hollywood.
Despite recent media attention on the subject, the study by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has shown that little progress is being made in making the film industry more inclusive in front of and behind the camera.
The report took information on actors, directors, writers and a number of popular films each year from 2007 until 2015 and found there was practically no change from one year to the next.
LGBT characters made up less than one percent of all speaking parts that were included in the evaluation.
In 2015, 32 out of 4370 characters were identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual – up from 19 in 2014.
There was one transgender part in 2015, up from none the year before.
Although representation of LGBT people increased, only two characters were depicted as parents.
31.4 percent of speaking roles in films were female in 2015, near enough the same number as eight years previously.
There was also practically no change in the makeup of ethnicities in films. Around 12 percent were black, five percent Latino and four percent Asian between 2007 and 2015.
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Professor Stacy Smith, the report’s lead author, said inequality was entrenched in Hollywood.
“Whether we’re studying gender, race, ethnicity, LGBT or characters with disabilities, we’re really seeing exclusionary forces leaving out anybody that’s not a straight, white, able-bodied man,” she said.
“Despite all the chatter and all the activism and all the press attention, it’s another year where the status quo has been maintained.”
She added that Hollywood was “an epicentre of cultural inequality”.
“When we really drill down the numbers, we see a perpetuation of the same groups getting access to the most visible roles, whether that’s in the director’s chair or on screen, and that continues to be the problem plaguing Hollywood’s hiring practices,” she said.
Researchers have said they now plan to also track characters with disabilities in future reports.