Disparities

08.06.142:11 PM ET

Cinema’s Diversity Problem

A new study shows just how much Hollywood lags behind when it comes to representing race and ethnicity.

We already knew that different races and ethnicities were underrepresented in film. A new study from the Annenberg School for Communication reveals the size of the disparity. The study, which covers six years and 600 top-grossing films, found that barely a quarter of 3,932 speaking characters were from underrepresented racial and/or ethnic groups in 2013; about 5 percent of all speaking characters were Hispanic/Latino; and animated films represent the lowest percentage of characters from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Considering that young children are the likely viewers of animated films, this means they are being taught inequality at a very early age. Now that the data has been quantified for Hollywood, filmmakers should have no excuse to avoid addressing the issue.

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