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UCLA

Diversity Not Included

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By Jack Feuer

Published Jul 1, 2016 8:00 AM


Hollywood receives another failing report card for poor representation of women and minorities.


A still from Black-ish, one of the few shows featuring minority cast members. Photo courtesy of ABC.

If the story of inclusion in Hollywood were a TV show, it would be a tragedy. Not just because the Oscars are so white. And not just on broadcast or cable television.

According to the 2016 Hollywood Diversity Report, the third in a series of reports by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, the picture is just as dismal in online streaming TV services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu.


The study, which tracked the percentages of minorities and women in such areas as lead roles, directors, writers and show creators, examined films released in 2014 and TV shows aired during the 2013-2014 season and found that minorities and women remain drastically underrepresented in every one of the 11 areas studied. The findings for streaming TV during the same period revealed a picture just as dismal — and sometimes even worse.

Minorities made up just 9.1 percent of lead roles in digital scripted shows, an underrepresentation of more than 4 to 1, the same level as broadcast TV. Exceptions where minorities held lead roles included East Los High on Hulu, Rogue on DirecTV and Chop Shop on Machinima Prime. Thirty-five percent of the lead roles in digital scripted programming during the 2013-2014 season went to women, about the same level as in broadcast TV. This included such shows as Ghost Ghirls on Yahoo! and Orange Is the New Black on Netflix.

Only 6.2 percent of online TV creators were minorities (Hulu’s East Los High and Netflix’s The Killing), and just 16 percent were women. The numbers weren’t much better for credited writers: Minorities accounted for only 4.7 percent of credited writers for digital shows; women accounted for 27.1 percent. Only 3.4 percent of digital TV directors were minorities, and only 5.6 percent were women.

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