No Surprises. Just GUESS Who's Under-Represented in Major Films

Absolutely no surprises here, but it's worth mentioning - women, minorities, people of colour and the LGBT community are consistently ignored by mainstream cinema and have been since 2007.

A new study by the University of Southern California's Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative confirmed what everyone's been saying for quite some time now.

The study took in 700 films from 2007 to 2014 and examined both the films themselves, who was behind the camera and who was in front of the camera.

It found that across its study of 700 popular, mainstream films, barely 30% of characters in a leading role were female with only three women of colour in major films in 2014.

Throughout the seven-year study, not one single character in a leading role was transgender whilst just 0.4% of the characters were LGBT.

What's more, the study found that people behind the camera who identified as LGBT or of a minority were more likely to be more diverse than those that were not.


Women directors were statistically more likely to feature female characters compared to men and, more importantly, were more likely to feature middle-aged women in a leading role.

Black directors, likewise, tended to have a cast that was 40% black, however 2014 saw just four African-American directors work in mainstream films as directors.

779 directors were credited in the study, however a dismal 28 of these were women, 45 were black and a paltry 19 were Asian.

One thing that is abundantly clear from all of this - major film studios need to seriously start looking at the issue of diversity in their work if they're going to continue.

As the world becomes more open, diverse and tolerant, the change has to be reflected in what we see. Sadly, these figures show it's not happening just yet.

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