Hotbed of Liberalism

[Content Note: Misogyny; racism; transphobia; homophobia; ageism.]

We often hear conservatives lament the liberal slant of "Hollywood"—that is, the mainstream US/UK movie industry—which is pretty rich, considering that, aside from delicate-sensibility offending stuff like teens fucking pies or whatever, "Hollywood" tends to have extremely conservative values:
Inequality in 700 Popular Films, created by the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California, examines data from the 700 top-grossing films between 2007 and 2014. USC professor Dr Stacy L Smith, author of the study, said: "By examining the trends over time, it is clear that no progress has been made either on screen or behind the camera when it comes to representing reality. This report reflects a dismal record of diversity for not just one group, but for [women], people of color, and the LGBT community."

The key findings are divided into sections for gender, race or ethnicity, and LGBT.

Just 30.2% of the 30,085 speaking characters in the top 700 films from 2007 to 2014 were women, and that in 2014's 100 most popular movies, only 21 featured a female lead, mirroring the 20% found among the top films of 2007. Behind the camera, the gender gap is even more alarming: only two of the top 100 films in 2014 were directed by women; in 2007, there were three.

The race and ethnicity findings paint an even uglier picture. According to the study, among the top 100 movies last year, a whopping 73.1% of all speaking or named characters were white, and only 17 featured a lead or co-lead from "an underrepresented racial and/or ethic group" – meaning other than white. Minority directors are no better off: only five of the 107 directors behind last year's top 100 movies were black; one of those directors helmed two pictures.

Despite the celebrated LGBT representation on the small screen with shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent, USC found that not one transgender character was portrayed in the top 100 films of 2014. Only 19 out of the 4,610 speaking characters in those movies were lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Although age doesn't get its own section in the study, USC does note that in the 100 top grossing films of 2014, "no female actors over 45 years of age performed a lead or co-lead role".
As far as I can tell, the study also didn't delve into representation of disability and fat. Which, as I'm sure we can all agree, would be about as well represented as women over 45.

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