The Future. UCLA’s 10th annual “Hollywood Diversity Report” found a fork between diversity and theatrical films when it comes to representation, with streaming titles more diverse and including more minorities than theatrical ones. While the new report shows a promising trend in streaming, there’s still a way to go before the share of representation in movies is equal to that of the American population… and recent spending cuts may put the brakes on that progress.
Studying the 89 English language films appearing in the top 200 globally theatrically-released titles and the top 100 streaming titles released in 2022, UCLA found that…
- When it came to writers, directors, lead roles, and overall cast, streaming films had a much higher percentage of diverse talent in these roles. In contrast, theatrical films had their percentage of diverse representation “backslide to 2019 levels.”
- The same is true of women in film, with streaming films having 10% more female writers, directors, and lead actors.
Theatrical films are far more diverse than they were a decade ago, however — For example, in 2011, women directed 4.6% of theatrical films. In 2022, it was 14.6%.
The new majority
The study found that, as streaming films have become more diverse, their audiences have also grown, finding new audiences that now see themselves in the movies — whether by who’s on screen or by the POV of the story being told. And that’s a phenomenon that applies to theatrical films when they’re given a shot in the international market.
While minorities currently represent 43.1% of the American population, that share is growing by a half percent each year… which means that minorities will soon be the majority in roughly two decades. So, while “minority” and “diverse” may be synonymous today, that won’t be the case forever.