Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Hollywood Diversity Report from UCLA's Bunche Center Show Woeful Lack of Opportunities for Artists of Color

The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles has released its 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report, where it analyzed 172 films that came out in 2011, as well as 1061 television shows that aired between 2011 and 2012 for the race and gender breakdowns of Lead Talent, Overall Cast, Show Creators, Writers, and Directors. Minorities and women were significantly underrepresented in each category.  

Variables considered in the report's analyses included Lead Talent Race, Lead Talent Gender, Overall Cast Diversity, Show Creator Race, Show Creator Gender, Show's Locations, Writer Diversity, Director's Race, Director's Gender, Genres, Talent Agency Representation, Oscar and Emmy Awards, Nielsen TV Ratings, Global and Domestic Box Office.

In addition, the breakdown of people employed in film and television by race, courtesy of Dr. Darnell Hunt, Director of the Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies (in the list below, "n" refers to the number of projects per analysis). 

1. Broadcast Comedies and Dramas
Show creator share: Asian=0% (n=96) Black=3.1%, Latino=1%, White=95.8%
Lead actor share: Asian=1% (n=99) Black=3%, Latino=1%, White=95%
Second actor share: Asian=1% (n=98) Black=8.2%, Latino=3.1%, Native=1%, Mixed=2%, White=84.7% 
2. Cable Comedies and Dramas
Show creator share: Asian=1.4% (n=148) Black=6.1%, White=92.6%
Lead actor share: Asian=0.6% (n=156) Black=10.9%, Latino=1.3%, Mixed=1.9%, White=85.3%
Second actor share: Asian=0% (n=147) Black=14.3%, Latino=2.7%, Mixed=2.7%, White=80.3% 
3. Broadcast Reality and Other
Show creator share: Asian=0% (n=29) Black=3.5%, White=96.6%
Lead talent share: Asian=1% (n=104) Black=9.6%, Latino=4.8%, White=84.6%
4. Cable Reality and Other
Show creator share: Asian=0% (n=52) Black=7.7%, Latino=3.4%, White=88.5%
Lead talent share: Asian=1.7% (n=464) Black=8.2%, Latino=2.8%, Mixed=.7%, White=88.6% 
5. Theatrical Film
Director share: Asian=7.6% (n=172) Black=2.3%, Latino=2.3%, White=87.2%
Writer share: Asian=4.1% (n=172) Black=1.7%, Latino=1.2%, Other=.6%, White=92.4%
Lead actor share: Asian=3.5% (n=172) Black=3.5%, Latino=2.9%, Mixed=.6%, White=89.5%

Dr. Darnell M. Hunt, Director of the
Ralph J. Bunche Center for
African American Studies and
Professor of Sociology at UCLA.
Dr. Darnell Hunt writes in the report, "The idea that there is a necessary tradeoff between diversity and excellence has enabled this industry status quo. When confronted with abysmal diversity numbers, industry decision makers often resort to the 'small pool' argument as a justification for the situation: 'There is a shortage of diverse talent out there.' Meanwhile, the lack of diversity in how the industry celebrates excellence works to reinforce this idea. Behind the scenes, the decision makers responsible for the high-stakes productions that constitute Hollywood routinely surround themselves with people with whom they feel comfortable — people who think (and often look) like them. The combination of these factors creates a vicious cycle that virtually guarantees the marginalization of diverse talent in the industry."

Established in 1969 as an organized research unit (ORU) of the University of California, Los Angeles, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA is one of the oldest centers in the nation devoted to the interdisciplinary study of black life, history, and culture. Through the Institute for American Cultures, the Bunche Center has strong affiliations and ongoing collaborations with UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, Asian American Studies Center, American Indian Studies Center, and the Center for the Study of Women. For more information on the Center, please click here

The 2014 Hollywood Diversity report was authored by Dr. Darnell Hunt, Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, and Dr. Zachary Price. Amberia Allen, Jonathan Collins, Marcia Fuentes, and Terrell Winder contributed to data collection and to other background research for the report. Financial support was provided by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA (The Hollywood Advancement Project), the Walter Kaitz Foundation, and other supporters. To read the full report, click here.

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