Hollywood was not as diverse in 2022 as you might have thought, study shows

Hollywood was not as diverse in 2022 as you might have thought, study shows
via YouTube
Carl Samson
March 31, 2023
2022 was a big year for Asian talent in Hollywood — having produced gems such as “After Yang,” “Turning Red” and Academy Award best picture winner “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — but an annual diversity study from UCLA exposes huge gaps in representation that audiences may have missed.
It turns out the biggest roles of last year still mostly went to white (78.4%) and male (60.2%) actors, setting back the film industry’s gender and ethnic inclusivity to pre-pandemic levels. Actors of color accounted for only 21.6% of lead roles, about half of their share in the U.S. population (43.1%).
Such a reliance on white male actors may be an attempt to woo moviegoers back to theaters. 
Yet evidence shows that more diverse films attract larger audiences, and the majority of ticket buyers for the biggest releases often tend to be Asian American, Black and Latinx viewers, according to the study.
UCLA researchers noted:

In an era of economic uncertainty intensified by the pandemic, studios pushed for theatrical “surefire hits” that relied on nostalgia and previous intellectual property. Instead of forging ahead with more inclusivity and new narratives, studios seemed to limit their theatrical offerings in 2022, which also limited the opportunities for certain filmmakers.

Meanwhile, women and people of color reportedly saw increased opportunities on streaming platforms. 
Lead female actors accounted for nearly half (48.5%) of top streaming films — with one lead actor also identifying as nonbinary, making up 1% — while lead actors of color composed 33%, about 10% short of proportionate representation with the U.S. population.
Hollywood’s big-screen preference for white male actors and streaming platforms’ openness to women and people of color is a “bifurcation” that will be interesting to monitor, researchers said.
“It [streaming] definitely was not an industry that was back all the way. But I really think it gives a picture of a two-tiered system that’s been created,” said Ana-Christina Ramón, director at UCLA’s Entertainment and Media Research Initiative, which produces the annual report, as per AP News. “What will be interesting to see is what happens in 2023 if it continues to have this bifurcation.”
UCLA’s full report, which includes data on overall cast members, directors and writers, is available here.

 
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