UCLA’s 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report reveals an increase in the representation of women and people of color in 2018 and 2019 in the movie industry in the U.S. But the study also found a major underrepresentation of people of color in top studio positions such as executives, directors and writers. The report analyzed the 139 top-grossing films in 2018 and 145 films in 2020.
Darnell Hunt, co-author of the report and dean of Social Sciences at the UCLA, questioned whether there is actually a systematic change or is Hollywood simply appealing to audiences with diverse casting but without any fundamental change behind the camera.
For acting roles, 41% went to women in 2018 and 44.1% in 2019. People of color had 26.6% lead roles in 2018 and 40.2% in 2019. They also made up 27.6% of all lead roles in 2019 and 32.7% of all film roles.
For directing roles, 7.1% went to women in 2018 and 15.1% in 2019. People of color accounted for 19.3% of writing roles in 2018 and only 14.4%. For writing credits, 14.8% went to women in 2018 and 17.4% in 2019. For people of color, it was 10.4% in 2018 and 13.9% in 2019.
There was an improvement in the representation of women and people of color in front of the camera and behind it in 2018 and 2019. But most of the C-level positions in major and mid-major studios continue to be dominated by white men.