If you haven’t already heard, diversity in Hollywood has not changed that much over the last 10 years…but are we surprised? With the #OscarsSoWhite campaign and the #MeToo movement drawing international attention to the flagrant abuses running rampant in the entertainment industry, the damning new USC Annenberg Inclusion study ricocheting around Hollywood is hardly shocking. Even though we’ve started to see women and POC make strides in Hollywood *cough* Black Panther, Wonder Woman, and everything Ava Duvernay touches*, Hollywood is still the overzealous fuckboy on Tinder — eager to tell you how big his dick is but when you finally meet for the big sha-bang, you find yourself face-to-face with a cocktail weenie. Hollywood’s diversity progress is pretty much stagnant, and has been for the last ten years. This means that the movies we pay 15+ dollars a pop to see are still as white and straight as Papa John himself.
The study found that out of 1,100 films and 48,757 characters analyzed between 2007-2017, women still only account for 31.8% of speaking roles and 7.3% of directors, with only 43 women directing popular films in the last ten years. Oh, and only four of those women were women of color. The study also found that 70.7% of film characters are white, and there is very low representation of LGBTQA+ and disabled characters.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “how can we help create more diversity in Hollywood?” The answer isn’t simple, but here are some fool-proof plans to get you started:
1.) Introduce a plague for which diversity is the only antidote.
First, I am NOT being dramatic. Second, think of what we could accomplish if we left these old Hollywood titans quaking in their Armani suits! Women could take on more authentic, emotionally-complex roles unlike the only two that exist for women today: manic pixie dream girl or Marilyn Monroe sex symbol. And hey, maybe POC could actually get a chance to be seen on screen!
2.) Lock all the rich white male executives in a rocket and launch them into deep space.
Good luck trying to block women and POC from equal representation without gravity and solid food, man babies!
3.) Boycott non-diverse movie productions by planting endangered tree species at every filming location … and then tie yourself to that tree in protest.
Is this drastic? Probably. But think about all the money you will be saving the public, who won’t be buying overpriced tickets to see another movie about a white man blowing up buildings while a scantily clad, perfectly made-up 17-26 year old woman runs away from the explosions in slow motion! .
4.) Introduce explosive laxatives into Hollywood’s uber-expensive scotch supply.
Who except for pretentious white men, with too much time and money on their hands, is going to spend $37,149 on the Balvenie 50 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Let’s make Hollywood a shithole in a completely new way! With all the rich, white executives running to the bathroom every 5 minutes, women and POC will be sure to skyrocket to the top.
5.) Go to film school, become super successful, and break down the barriers in Hollywood…
…but first, you’ll need to take out crippling student loans, get paid anywhere from 40-70 cents on the dollar, get sexually harassed on the reg, deal with mountains of white privilege and low-key racism, and probably spend a lot of time crying in your car. Sound good? No? I mean, the white men in charge of these oppressive organizations could just implement actual structural change that allows women and POC to more readily overcome these socioeconomic and discriminatory challenges and level the playing field for success, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s good to laugh every once and awhile.
In all seriousness, this lack of diversity is getting old. There are people from all walks of life with fascinating, potentially blockbuster-worthy stories to tell — why do we insist on making more Transformers Movies? We’re definitely not there yet, but with brilliant women like Greta Gerwig, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Ava Duvernay, Shonda Rhimes, and Natalie Portman leading the charge toward inclusion, there’s a lot of hope for the future of Hollywood.