Diversity is still trying to find its place in film

Hollywood falls short of representing women and people of color well in media.

Noel Sassoon, Opinions Editor

Many movie goers would agree that diversity and representation in film is a priority for major studios. In this year alone, films such as Disney’s Encanto and A24’s Everything, Everywhere, All at Once showed progress regarding cultural and female representation in mainstream media. While those strides should certainly be acknowledged, Hollywood still has a ways to go when it comes to the representation of women and POC communities. 


In March of 2022, the Hollywood Reporter released an article discussing a study published by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. In the study, women made up 41% of lead roles and co-leading roles in the 100 highest-grossing films of 2021. The report also states that of those 100 highest grossing films, only 11 of them had a woman of color as a lead or co-lead. Furthermore, the study reveals that of the 100 highest grossing films of 2019, only 12 of the 112 directors attached to those films were women.  


An article published by Deadline earlier this year addressed UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity report, stating that both women and people of color “have made enormous gains” over the past ten years when it comes to leading roles in the highest-grossing films. According to the report, “the percentage of leading roles played by people of color in last year’s top 200 films has nearly quadrupled since 2011; that their share of writing credits has more than quadrupled; and that their percentage of directing jobs has nearly tripled.” 

While this is certainly an advancement in the world of film, the report goes on to say that Hollywood still falls short when it comes to representing Latinx artists. According to the study, Latinx persons make up 18.7% of the U.S. population, but they continue to be “underrepresented in all major film categories surveyed, accounting for just 7.1% of leads, 7.7% of overall cast, 5.6% of writers and 7.1% of directors.” 

Diversity and representation in Hollywood should be of the utmost importance for both major studios and independent filmmakers. Every single person deserves to feel represented and seen both on screen and off. Author Florentine Bakkenes expresses this point in one of her articles. She writes that “diversity in popular movies and television series matter because an accurate portrayal of society affects both the over – and under – represented groups of society. Representation matters. Representation impacts people. Everyone deserves to have their story told.”  

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