Entertainment Study finds Netflix leads on women directors, lags with Latin, Asian roles
Olivia Munn Says 'We Need to Help Feel Safe in Our Country' Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Attacks
The actress is latest celebrity to speak out against rise of violence against Asian Americans, following an attack on her friend's mother in New York."I hope that people hear what is happening to our community," Munn said during an MSNBC interview on Saturday. "I hope that they understand that. Right now there is an astronomical rise in hate crimes against the Asian community and that we need help to feel safe in our country we need help to be safe in our country and we need people to to amplify, what's happening to us. What do you hope people learn from listening to this.
By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc outpaced competitors in hiring women to direct feature films but Latin-American and Asian actors were underrepresented in leading TV roles, according to a study commissioned by the streaming service and released on Friday.
Hollywood has faced criticism in recent years for a lack of diversity among people on and off screen. Netflix, the world's largest streaming service, asked researchers at the University of Southern California to assess the prevalence of multiple groups among actors in its English-language programming and creators working behind the scenes.
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"The report makes clear that while Netflix has made advances in representation year-over-year, we still have a long way to go," Co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos said in a blog post.
Researchers at USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, led by professor Stacy L. Smith, evaluated 126 live-action movies and 180 scripted, live-action TV shows that debuted on Netflix 2018 and 2019.
They found that Netflix had a higher percentage of female producers, writers and directors of feature films than other distributors.
The study found that women directed 23 percent of Netflix movies during the two-year period, more than triple the 7.6% among the top-grossing box office movies during that time. Women of color directed 6.2% of Netflix films, compared to 2.2% elsewhere.
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The study did not compare Netflix movies with all major studio releases or with movies released on other streaming services.
The higher percentage off screen led to more women and girls on screen, Smith said during an online video discussion of the findings. Main roles in Netflix film and TV shows were split equally among males and females, the study found.
"Inclusion happens when women are given keys to the kingdom and drive storylines," Smith said.
The percentage of Black actors in leading roles exceeded that of the U.S. population. But among other groups, 4% of leading roles in movies, and 1.7% in TV series, were filled by Latinx actors. That was below the 12% of Latinx people in the population.
Asian actors appeared in 1.7% of leading roles in Netflix TV series, compared with 7% in the population.
The report also found that appearances by LGBTQ people and characters with disabilities were rare.
Overall, 19 of 22 measures examined by the researchers improved from 2018 to 2019, the study found.
Aiming to improve, Netflix announced a $100 million fund to help train people from underrepresented communities and promised to release updated data every two years through 2026.
"The point of this benchmark is to constantly be held accountable," said Scott Stuber, Netflix's vice president of global film.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by David Gregorio)
What It’s Like When Racism Comes for You .
She’d never been attacked for being Asian American. The pandemic changed that.A few things happened at once. Mari’s friend moved to stand between her and the shouting man. Two workers behind the counter asked the man to leave. He said something about how he was just making a joke—Mari doesn’t remember the specifics. She was still stuck on “Oriental”—how old the word sounded, how it conjured the racist imagery of anti-Japanese World War II propaganda, and how strange she felt to hear it used to describe her. “I had never experienced anything like this,” the 26-year-old told me this week, a month after the encounter. It felt “like a time jump.