In 2018 Women Are Shockingly Still A Minority In American Cinema

In 2018 Women Are Shockingly Still A Minority In American Cinema

Gender equality still hasn’t been reached in American cinema. According to a study led by the think tank foundation USC Annenberg, only 31.8% of characters in feature films from 2017 are female.

Dunkirk, Get Out, Blade Runner 2049... All these successful films which came out in 2017 have one thing in common: the main roles are played by men. According to a study led by the think tank foundation USC Annenberg, this applies to all films produced in the USA. The numbers are striking: only 31.8% of all characters in feature films from 2017 are female. Gender equality still has some way to go.

Persistent and deeply-rooted stereotypes

It’s not only the lack of roles which is a problem but also (above all) the roles that they are given: 28.4% of women have to play characters in sexy outfits, and 25% are filmed nude... Stereotypes are clearly still persistent.

This isn’t the only problematic thing about American cinema: ethnic diversity is lacking too. The study shows that 70% of actors are white, while black, Asian or Hispanic actors are still under-represented or lumbered with ‘cliché’ roles.  The young French director Wil Aime shared his dismay with regard to cultural minorities to our counterparts at Konbini:

‘Cinema is made to make people dream, and not to keep people in their place. Too often we get stuck in clichés : black people play guards or butlers, Arabs play thieves, Jews are made to look greedy...’ he protested.

Of course, some films are an exception to the rule, like for example Black Panther - which cast exclusively black Americans - or Crazy Rich Asian, or Ocean’s 8. According to Stacy L. Smith, co-author of the study, the movement towards diversity is in progress:  I’m hopeful that, as these movements take effect, this will be the last year that we see these kind of numbers.’

 

• Emma Jensen
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