Hollywood Has Little Room for Women, On and Off-Screen

Women were two-fifths of characters and only one-twelfth of directors since 2007
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2017 6:14 PM CDT
Study Finds Hollywood Still Super Dude-Heavy
Unlike the actual America, Captain America's squad is only 16.67% female.   (Disney-Marvel via AP)

In 2017, Hollywood films continue to look less like Girls Trip and more like the Entourage movie. "Every year we're hopeful that we will actually see change," researcher Stacy Smith tells the AP. "Unfortunately that hope has not quite been realized." Researchers at USC used software to analyze scripts for the 100 top-grossing films of every year since 2007 and the results show Hollywood continues to be an overwhelming boys' club, both on screen and behind the camera. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 1,000 scripts featured 4,900 male characters and only 2,000 female characters. Male characters participated in more than twice the number of conversations as female characters, and female characters tended to not be central to the film's plot.

The situation was even worse for women of color and LGBT women. In 2016, 47 of the top 100 films had no black female characters, 66 had no Asian women, 72 had no Hispanic women, and 91 included no LGBT women. The study also found female characters were more positive and talked about family values, whereas male characters talked about achievement and cursed more, according to a press release. “Writers consciously or subconsciously agree to established norms about gender that are built into their word choices,” Women and Hollywood quotes study author Anil Ramakrishna as saying. Part of the problem: Over the past decade, there were 12 times as many male directors as female directors, seven times as many male writers, and three times as many male producers. (Gender stereotypes set in surprisingly early.)

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