Diversity In Hollywood Improves—But Representation Of Asian Americans And Others Still Low, Report Says
Racial and gender diversity among television workers in Hollywood improved between 2019 and 2020 as streaming services rolled out diverse content to boost subscribers and demographics continued to shift, a report by UCLA said Tuesday, but the representation of Asian Americans, Latinos and Native Americans remain underrepresented on-screen.
Racial and gender diversity among television workers in Hollywood improved between 2019 and 2020 as ... [+]getty
Overall diversity of on-screen talent and writers rose across shows produced by broadcast, cable and streaming providers, according to the UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report.
People of color made up around 43.4% of acting roles in broadcast TV — more than their 42.7% demographic makeup.
Improved representation of cast members stemmed from a rise in Black and multiracial roles, the report said, adding that minority groups such as Latinos were underrepresented and Native Americans were “virtually invisible.”
Viewers rewarded shows with more diversity, as shows where at least three in ten cast members were nonwhite received the highest ratings from viewers across the board, the study found.
Modest improvements in racial diversity of writers across broadcast (from 23.4% to 26.4%), cable (from 25.8% to 28.6%) and streaming (from 22.8% to 24.2%) were attributed to more opportunities given to female writers of color, though did not match with the 42.7% demographic makeup of nonwhite Americans, the report said.
“Audiences gravitate to content that features characters with whom they can relate,” wrote Dr. Darnell Hunt and Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, authors of the study, “they also want to engage with stories written by people who understand how they live.”
The report looked at racial and gender diversity in front of and behind the camera in 461 scripted shows across 50 broadcast, cable and streaming providers between 2019 and 2020. It attributed the improved diversity to the popularity of streaming services and a shift in demographics. The rise of streaming services has fueled competition among TV providers to cater to audiences’ preferences. The report comes as Hollywood has pledged to celebrate more on-screen talent and artists of color amid criticism that people of color are not being recognized.
By race and ethnicity, Black viewers 18 and older spent the most time watching television, according to a Nielsen report. They consumed television for 44 hours and 14 minutes per week in the third quarter of last year. That figure is 32% higher than white viewers who watched 33 hours and 28 minutes of television per week, followed by Hispanics 25 hours and 17 minutes and Asian Americans 21 hours and 43 minutes.
TV looks more like US, viewers like it, diversity study says (Associated Press)