July 22, 2024

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A new diversity progress report reveals that LGBTQ+ representation increased in film during 2023 but fell in series TV, as did shows with Black actors.

The survey from Luminate also reveals that projects with female directors had an average of 12% more diverse casts than male directed-projects between 2021 and 2023.

Luminate’s Entertainment Diversity Progress Report analyzed year-over-year changes in representation, both in front of and behind the screen, for 2021, 2022 and 2023. It focused on changes amongst the following traditionally underrepresented groups: Women, Black, LGBTQ+, Latin/Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, Middle Eastern/North African, and disabled individuals.

The analysis only includes scripted, live-action projects originating from the United States, UK and Canada. Luminate is an independently operated entertainment data and insights company, and a subsidiary of PME TopCo., a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge.

“As conversations surrounding the importance of diversity continue, our goal with this report is to shed a light on the progress Hollywood is and is not making regarding inclusion and representation,” said
Mark Hoebich, EVP, Head of Film & TV, Luminate. “The data we’ve used to highlight these insights are objective, which is always our main priority as a trusted source of truth. In keeping with our mission of sharing valuable information with our partners, we hope these findings help drive progress toward a more inclusive and representative entertainment industry.”

Among the findings:

-As a result of fewer overall series because of the dual strikes, many of the underrepresented groups saw declines in representation in TV/Digital series in 2023. At the same time, representation in film was up (or at least even) with 2022.

-When women were empowered as film directors, projects had an average of 12% more diverse casts than male directors from 2021-2023. In TV, female show creators averaged 9% more diverse casts than men in the same time period. The benefits are supported by a 2019 McKinsey report that found that companies with greater gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability.

-The largest disparity between the U.S. demographic composition and their representation in film and TV/Digital series is among the Latin/Hispanic population. People who identify as Latin/Hispanic make up about 19% of the U.S. population, yet their representation in key roles (both in front of and behind the camera) lags.  

-There were more Indigenous series creators than Latin/Hispanic creators in 2023, yet their representation in key roles (both in front of and behind the camera) is 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively. This is inclusive of people who identify as both Indigenous and Latin/Hispanic.

-Superhero projects lean into diversity but face increased cancellations on screen and dwindling audiences in theaters. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences faced backlash in 2015 from the #OscarsSoWhite movement and vowed to improve the diversity among its membership and by extension the diversity of Oscar nominations; based on the data, things have improved but there’s still work to be done.

The report can be accessed here.  

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