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Oscar Wins ‘Do Not Mean That the Diversity Problem Has Been Solved,’ Says Study Author

Variety logo Variety 3/1/2017 Dave McNary
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An entertainment analytics group asserted that its data show that minorities and women remain under-represented in Hollywood, despite the recent Academy Awards recognition.

“Our study indicates that there’s still a lot of underrepresentation in the industry, and unfortunately Sunday’s Oscar wins do not mean that the diversity problem has been solved,” said Alan Xie, founder of Boston-based Pilot.

“Rather, we see the ceremony as an important first step toward highlighting narratives that maybe haven’t received as much attention before — and with these stories now being pushed to the forefront of our collective consciousness, we’ll hopefully see many more diverse individuals behind and in front of the camera in the years to come,” he added.

Sie noted that the best picture Academy Award went to “Moonlight”; the supporting actor awards went to Mahershala Ali for “Moonlight” and Viola Davis for “Fences”; the best foreign language award went to Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman”; and the best short subject documentary went to “The White Helmets.”

“These films show us that people of color, of the LGBTQ community, and of different religions all have stories that deserve to be told on the big screen and shared with all Americans,” Xie said.

Pilot also released a study this week spanning 2,500 films from 2000-2016, including 4,300 unique actors and 1,400 directors. The study found that minority actors were most likely to be cast alongside white actors.

“Accounting for the fact that 83% of the roles in our dataset were played by white actors, this suggests a very homogeneous brand of diversity — one in which minorities usually appear in films alongside individuals of their own race but not other minority minority groups,” the report said.

The study investigated inequities across age, race, and gender and included the following statistics:

— Women in Hollywood hold only 34% of major acting roles and 6% of directing jobs.

— Women at the peak of their careers had 60% fewer acting opportunities than men, and that women were offered significantly fewer roles after reaching age 30.

— From age 35 onward, men have twice as many acting opportunities as women.

— 11% of films were directed by minority directors.

— Minority actors tend to be typecast in minority-specific narratives.

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