The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is teaming with Google and the USC School of Engineering to create a software program for grading diversity in film and TV. Specifics are scarce, but the software apparently will make its debut at “the 2017 Bentonville Film Festival, a festival that focuses on diversity run by the Geena Davis Institute and ARC Entertainment.”
No algorithm or complex application is needed to know that diversity in entertainment has struggled in recent years. In referencing the USC study released just before the Oscars, only 28% of characters with speaking roles were people of color. To their credit, there have been a lot of changes since late February. People of color have been granted more roles in updated shows both in front of and behind the screen.
The new software will track the diversity of a script and show to award a score for the film or tv series. The new technology will not be able to track behind the scenes diversity however. This is unfortunate as the USC study also referenced that only about 3% of “film directors are female.” Still this is a great first step and I am interested to see how well this technology performs.