Inclusion is Top Talk in Hollywood Yet Work Still Needs to Be Done
Even though with prominent success of films like Wonder Woman and Get Out, Hollywood is still having an inclusion problem. According to a U.S.C Annenburg study, diversity in front of and behind the camera is an uphill battle and will continue throughout 2018. As a leader in the promotion and advancement of Latino content creators across media, NALIP launched the "WeAreInclusion" campaign and interviewed a lot of directors, filmmakers and industry executives about personal stories of tenacity. In order to help us strengthen our influence in the industry through collaboration, it is our responsibility to take it a step further and push for the INCLUSION of diverse stories and people in the industry.
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According to a Hollywood Reporter article, the study found that the top 100 movies each year from 2007 through 2017, “shows no significant statistical improvement in the representation of women, people of color, LGBT characters or characters with disability over the past decade.” The numbers prove it: 30.6% of 48,757 speaking characters in the 1,100 top grossing films since 2007 were female, 70.7% of characters where white, 99% were straight and cisgender.
Films like Girls Trip and Wonder Woman may make you feel like the diversity gap is closing, but the study also reveals that among the 109 individuals who directed a movie in 2017, 8 were white women, 4 were black men, and 4 were Asian men.
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2018 doesn’t seem like it’s going to be any different, even with films like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. According to Vanity Fair, inclusion rider is a term that is gaining more and more friction in the industry whose goals are to gain more diversity in front and behind the camera. Inclusion Riders are rider that actors can “cotton onto their contracts, ensuring that films they work on are inclusive.” More specifically, the goal is to have 50% gender parity, 40% inclusion for people of color, 5% LGBTQ, and 20% disabled.
As a national membership organization that addresses the professional needs of Latinx content creators, NALIP is committed to promote, advance and advocate for filmmakers across media, and respect for diversity based on a code of ethics open to and respectful of differences. Leading the most talked about movements in Hollywood, NALIP sees the need for the acceleration of advocating for diversity and inclusivity. Although every filmmaker and actor says the same thing: they want change, the latest study from USC Professor Professor Stacy L. Smith and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds that little has changed, even with an uptick in conversation.
According a study from Stacy L. Smith stating “that on-screen progress toward inclusion remains to be seen in popular movies with regard to females, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, the LGBT community, and individuals with disabilities.”
Professor Smith examined over 48,000 characters from the 1,100 top films from 2007 to 2017 and noted that “female speaking characters on screen filled just 30.6% of all roles across the 11-year time frame while less than 1% of all characters were from the LGBT community.” The findings show that “Hollywood has yet to move from talking about inclusion to meaningfully increasing on-screen representation for women, people of color, the LGBT community, or individuals with disabilities.”
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The Professor went on to state, “After witnessing little change in these numbers, it is clear that Hollywood must do more to ensure that marginalized groups are a part of the fabric of storytelling. Good intentions are not enough to create change. Hollywood needs tangible, actionable solutions that will usher in real transformation. Our work brings to light the steps that companies and individuals can take if they want to see results.”
The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements are dominating conversations in Hollywood and based on these findings, they haven’t affected the status quo. Lack of representation has been constantly discussed recently but there have been no steps forward regarding inclusion.