Two U.S. studies released earlier this week showed under-representation of women and minorities in film and television industries due to lack of diversity and exclusion.

As the 88th Oscar Awards is around the corner, a debate over diversity in Hollywood attracted increasing attention.

A study of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that minorities “remain under-represented on every front,” including film directors, film writers, motion picture and TV performers, and show creators.

The study also showed that women have enjoyed fewer gains in Hollywood since its previous report in 2015.

“They posted small gains in only two employment areas, including film directors and the creators of broadcast scripted shows and regressed in two others, which are film writers and broadcast scripted leads. Women remain under-represented on nearly every front,” it noted.

At the administration level, “white males continued to dominate the positions from which greenlighting decisions are made in the Hollywood industry,” the study found.

It added that film studio heads were 94 percent white and 100 percent male, film studio management is 92 percent white and 83 percent male, film studio unit heads are 96 percent white and 61 percent male.

It looks the same in TV area, where TV network and studio heads are 96 percent white and 71 percent male, TV senior management is 93 percent white and 73 percent male, and TV unit heads are 86 percent white and 55 percent male.

A separate report by the University of Southern California (USC)mirrored the UCLA findings, noting that the numbers of women and minorities represented in entertainment productions have not budged over 10 years.

The USC report examined films, television shows and digital series released in 1994 and of the 11,306 speaking roles evaluated, 66.5 percent were male and 33.5 percent female. Focusing on films industry, only 28.7 percent of speaking roles were filled by females.

When evaluating race and ethnicity of characters in film and television, 71.1 percent were white, 12.2 percent black, 5.8 percent Hispanic/Latino, 5.1 percent Asian, 2.3 percent Middle Eastern and 3.1 percent considered “other” races.

“This is no mere diversity problem. This is an inclusion crisis,” said the USC report’s author Stacy Smith.

“Over half of the content we examined features no Asian or Asian-American characters, and over 20 percent featured no African-American characters. It is clear that the ecosystem of entertainment is exclusionary.”

When people questioning and criticizing all-white Oscars over two straight years, an American newspaper reported that the state of diversity in Hollywood may look no better next year than it does now.

“Looking at the 184 movies officially announced for release this year by 14 studios, the Academy Awards next year may be just as pale and male as this Sunday’s telecast,” USA Today reported.

“Our analysis does not assess the Oscar viability of 2016’s forthcoming movies. But it shows a discernible lack of minority and female faces in major roles and among the directors of the films being released between January and December 2016,” according to the newspaper.

For that reason, though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a series of changes to its voting and membership procedures aiming to double its female and “diverse” membership by 2020, the “white” Oscar still can not be dispelled.

“Hollywood has been whitewashed, in front of the cameras and behind, from casting to writing to producers to actors,” Jeetendr Sehdev, a USC professor who has researched the challenges in improving diversity in the film industry, told the newspaper.

The Academy officials and many pundits have acknowledged that the problem of a lack of diversity is not restricted to the Oscars, but affects the entertainment industry at large, as reflected in the studies of the two universities.

Source: Xinhua


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