A new report has revealed that despite the increase in diversity-based initiatives, women are still absent from crucial roles in the Hollywood industry. The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative conducts a yearly study that looks at the representation of gender, race/ethnicity, LGBT, and disability in popular films. The study found that in the last year, women had fewer speaking roles in movies than they did a decade ago.

The study, “Inequality in 1,100 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race/Ethnicity, LGBT & Disability from 2007 to 2017,” has termed the ongoing issue the “inclusion crisis” and found that after looking at the top 100 movies of 2017, male characters outnumber female ones more than 2 to 1.

The study discovered that last year, female speaking characters in the top 100 movies accounted for just 31.8 percent of all roles. That was up just .2 percent from the year before, but was less than 2008 and 2009 in which female speaking roles were 32.8 percent.

The study also found that out of the 1,223 directors who worked over 11 years, just 4.3 percent were female and women of color were even less represented. “Once again, we see that women of color are most affected by exclusionary hiring practices,” Stacy Smith, founding director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, stated in the study. “Just four Black/African-American women, three Asian women, and one Latina directed a film across the 1,100 we examined.”

According to the study, out of the top 100 films in 2017 they looked at, 43 films didn’t include a single Black/African American female character. Sixty-five of those films were missing Asian or Asian-American female characters, and 64 didn’t include a Latina character. The numbers of characters with disabilities and LGBTQ characters surveyed in the films was also very low.

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has a simple directive for solving the inclusion problem. “Only a third of all speaking characters across 100 films were female. Female directors tell female-driven stories. Do the math,” the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative stated on Twitter. “Hire more female directors.”

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