Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Richard Pacelle, professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, to find some answers.
A new study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism found that actors in 2013 lacked diversity.
Although last year’s box office included films like “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “12 Years a Slave,” casts in other films did not share the same ethnic diversity.
The study looked at 3,932 actors who had speaking roles in films, and found less than 5 percent were Hispanic, though Hispanic moviegoers bought 25 percent of all tickets, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
Among the study’s findings:
“Just over a quarter (25.9%) of the 3,932 speaking characters evaluated were from
underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. A full 74.1% were White, 14.1% Black, 4.9% Hispanic, 4.4% Asian, 1.1% Middle Eastern, <1% American Indian or Alaskan Native, and 1.2% were from “other” races/ethnicities. No meaningful change has been observed in the frequency of any racial/ethnic group on screen in 600 popular films between 2007 and 2013.”
The study also found that Hispanic women were the most likely to be sexualized on screen.
Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with NPR’s TV critic Eric Deggans about the study findings and diversity in film.