Study: Diversity In Top Hollywood Films Significantly Below U.S. Population

Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana in a scene from "The Words." (Jonathan Wenk, CBS Films)
Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana in a scene from “The Words.” (Jonathan Wenk, CBS Films)

Diversity in top Hollywood films is significantly below that of the U.S. population, according to a new study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The study examined 3,932 actors who spoke at least one word in the 100 top-grossing films of 2013.

Fewer than 5% of actors in top Hollywood films are Hispanic, though they make up 17% of the population. The study determined the group to be the most underrepresented, even though Hispanics bought about 25% of all movie tickets and are more likely to be moviegoers than any other group, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

“Hispanics and Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the U.S.,” said Marc Choueiti, one of the study’s authors. “If popular films were the only way to gauge diversity, viewers would be completely unaware of this. Individuals from this group are almost invisible on screen.”

The study also revealed that Hispanic women are more likely than women of all other races/ethnicities to appear partially or fully naked onscreen, adding up to about 38%. Nearly 32% of white women were more likely to be seen with “some exposed skin” compared to 24% of black women, and 18% of Asian women.

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Amanda Horowitz

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