Hollywood’s attempt to get more diverse is moving at a “glacial” pace, according to a new study which condemns the entertainment industry for being “woefully” out of touch.
UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies findings, called “2014 Hollywood Diversity Report: Making Sense of the Disconnect,” says Hollywood is losing out out on big bucks because of it.
The fact is that America is becoming more and more diverse, but the Hollywood industry hasn’t kept up,” said Darnell Hunt, the lead author of the report and the center’s director. “There’s been a little progress, but it’s been at a glacial pace. Hollywood is woefully out of touch with an emerging America.
One particularly noteworthy year was 2011, a 12-month span in which minorities had lead roles in less than 11 percent of the 172 under study. The latest Census data says non-whites made up roughly 36 percent of the U.S. population.
The failure of Hollywood to accurately mirror the nation’s multicultural nature is putting a major dent in potential box office and ratings, added Hunt. Audiences tend to gravitate toward films and TV series that feature diversity, which translate into higher profits for networks and studios.
Case in point: the wildly popular Fast & Furious franchise. Yes, the series focuses on beautiful people, elaborate stunts and ultra-cool cars. The cast, however, reflects a diversity too rarely seen on the big screen, a veritable melting pot of nationalities working together for a common cause.