Hollywood's behind-scenes failings on diversity | Inquirer Entertainment

Hollywood diversity progress masks behind-scenes failings

/ 06:04 PM February 07, 2020

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo is the sole non-white acting nominee.  Image: AFP/Valerie Macon

Women and minorities made major gains in Hollywood acting roles last year, but key behind-the-scenes jobs such as directing remain shockingly low for diversity, a study found Thursday.

The annual report was published three days before the Oscars, which have been slammed for overlooking minorities—Cynthia Erivo is the sole non-white acting nominee.


The 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report reveals progress in the broader movie industry beyond award shows.


Women and minorities “are within striking distance of proportionate representation when it comes to lead roles and total cast,” said co-author Darnell Hunt, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) social sciences division.

Women had 44.1% of lead acting roles in blockbusters last year.

People of color—slightly more than 40% of the US population, including black, Latino and Asian people—had 27.6% of leading roles.

But statistics on the dearth of diversity in directing, editing and executive jobs show “a very different story,” suggesting Hollywood’s progress is limited to on-camera roles.

Most shockingly, 93% of all senior executive positions were held by white people, and 80% by men.

While both the Oscars and Golden Globes were hit with fierce criticism for failing to nominate a single female director this year, the report also shows wider problems across the industry.


Just 15.1% of directors were women—though even that was an improvement on 7.1% a year earlier.

“Are we actually seeing systematic change, or is Hollywood just appealing to diverse audiences through casting, but without fundamentally altering the way studios do business behind the camera?” said Hunt.

The report hints at one potential explanation for the growth in acting roles for minorities that may appeal to Hollywood executives—profit.

In 2019, the films that performed best at the box office featured casts composed of between 41% and 50% minority actors.  IB /ra


Rebel Wilson jokes on coronavirus, all-male director nominees in Baftas

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Janelle Monáe to perform at 92nd Academy Awards

TAGS: Baftas, diversity, Golden Globes, Hollywood, minorities, movie industry, Oscars, United States

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.