A study released Monday condemns the lack of diversity in Hollywood, calling the industry’s major companies “whitewashed,” and highlighting what researchers call an “epidemic of invisibility” for people of color, women, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
The study by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism comes just days before the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony, also known as the Oscars.
The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity investigated over hundred films by major studios in 2014, along with 305 television and digital series from 31 networks and streaming services.
The “damning study,” as the Associated Press puts it, examines 11,000 speaking characters for gender, racial and ethnic representation and LGBT status. Another 10,00 directors, writers, and show creators were analyzed, while the gender of over 1,500 executives was also inspected.
The U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is facing heavy criticism from numerous quarters over a lack of diversity in the Oscars awards after it was revealed that none of the main acting categories including nominees who were non-white, for the second year running.
The controversy has led to calls for boycott and reform by leading performers and directors of color. Several high-profile industry figures, including actor Will Smith and director Spike Lee, announced they would not attend February´s star-studded event.
Darnell Hunt, director of the Center of Afro-American Studies of the University of California in Los Angeles, told AP that among the 6,000 members of the Academy of Cinema, about 93 percent were white, 70 percent were men, and the average age was 63 years old, quoting a 2013 LA Times study.
This content was originally published by teleSUR.