Why Female Actors Movie Careers Die At 40

A new study shows the lack of diversity in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

A new report by the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative finds that Hollywood-produced movies are still overwhelming feature white men. The study, “Inequality in 700 Popular Films,” describes “epidemic” in the lack of diversity. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis has the breakdown:

The movies are white: 73.1 percent of all the speaking or named characters in the top 100 movies were white.

The movies are straight: Only 19 total characters were lesbian, gay or bisexual — none were transgender.

The movies are young: Only 19.9 percent of female characters were 40 to 64 years old.

The movies are male: Only 1.9 percent of the movies were directed by women.

Those numbers are not that surprising to anyone who went to the movies this summer, but the extreme lack of diversity will always make these studies worth reading. Dargis points out that films like ‘Selma’ and the ‘Hunger Games’ break away from these trends, but they continue to be the exception, these are the select movies that divert from the typical Hollywood model.

The Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative’s report, and others like it, will hopefully bring increased scrutiny to Hollywood’s hiring practices. Dargis reports that the industry’s discriminatory practices are becoming worse and worse. Earlier this year the American Civil Liberties Union asked state and federal agencies to investigate the industry’s hiring practices.

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