UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences released the “2022 Hollywood Diversity Report,” which shows that major Hollywood film productions have decreased in diversity during the pandemic, with fewer opportunities for people of color and women compared to previous years.
But the report also found that streaming platforms provided more opportunities for women and people of color than theatrical releases.
The annual UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report, released Thursday, presented one of the most detailed looks yet at how the film industry has been shaped and in many ways reshaped during COVID-19.
In analyzing the 2022 movie releases, the academics found that the ethnic gender and inclusion in the theatrical movies to 2019 or 2018 in many metric levels, turning down the charts, which had been a slow trend towards equity on the screen and behind the camera had been more significant.
When the film industry sought to bring back movies in 2022, it did so by focusing more on star-studded films directed by white men, despite the notable argument that many more diverse films would attract larger audiences. Black, Latino, and Asian American movies make up the majority of moviegoers for almost all movies and, because of the biggest hits, often account for the majority of ticket buyers.
The film industry is still recovering in 2022, paying fewer releases and with box office returns at 67% of pre-pandemic levels. Although the 2022 film ended in triumph for Asian American representation at the Academy Awards with the best picture-winning “All Together and Everything,” researchers see a potential milestone where opportunity is usually reserved for women and people of color. lower budgeted streaming movies.
“The industry was not all back. But I think it really gives a picture of the bipartite system that has been created,” says Ana-Christina Ramon, director of the Entertainment and Media Research Initiative at UCLA, which produces the report. “It will be interesting to see what happens in 2023 if it continues to have this bifurcation.”
“The fear is that diversity is something temporary or could easily be cut at any point in theaters or streaming,” says Ramn, noting that streaming services, after years of rapid growth, are now pulling back on original productions.
In theatrical releases, people of color accounted for 22% of lead actors, 17% of directors, and 12% of writers. Women make up 39% of lead actors and 15% of directors. While the percentage has almost doubled in a decade, the numbers are closer to what they were five years ago and still easily trail the U.S. population. In addition, women have made gains in writing, writing 27% of scripts in 2022 theatrical releases, up from 17% in 2019. Yet one woman of color is set to star in the top 2022 movies.
At the same time, including more streaming releases, the system releases a number of different movies and leads the female. About 64% of the original streaming releases of 2022 had models that were over 30% non-white, as opposed to 57% of theatrical releases.
About one-third of the leads in the top films went to people of color – about 12% more than theatrical films, but up to 10% below the average population. Wisely, women in movie streaming (49%) will reach almost parity with men by 2022.
But considering the financial levels that tend to be higher in theatrical releases, the researchers found some of the biggest disparities. Students are overwhelmingly choosing white men as directors for their biggest productions. For films, 73% of directors were estimated at theatrical release, in films that usually (60%) had a budget over $30 million.
Budgets tended to be lower for female filmmakers and directors of color. Films directed by white women were mostly (56%) budgeted less than $20 million. For directors of color, 76% of the films released had budgets below $20 million.
“Through the unstable industry, what we could see was a culture that Hollywood always relied on when it needed a certain fire shot,” says Ramon. They think fire fire is code for no diversity, for white led. So it’s something that you’re dealing with.”