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A new study finds Hollywood's diversity problem runs much deeper than minority representation at its premier awards show.
Researchers at the University of Southern California say the entire media landscape "is still largely whitewashed" and that women and minorities are caught in an "epidemic of invisibility" running throughout popular stories, whether on film, TV or digital platforms.
The Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment analyzed 414 different stories, including 109 motion pictures and 305 broadcast, cable, and digital series, for performance in diversity and inclusion.
The report, released by USC's Institute for Diversity and Empowerment as part of their Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative comes from USC's journalism and communications school. It uses data from 2014 that was collected by 100 researchers to identify which film studios and TV networks hired women behind the camera and represented women and other "underrepresented" people — by race, ethnicity and sexuality — on screen.
The study authors concluded that the "film industry still functions as a straight, White, boy's club."
Among the key findings, women and girls made up less than one-third of speaking characters.
Behind the camera, for every one female screenwriter there were 2.5 male screenwriters. In film, only 3.4 percent of all directors were female. Television and digital series did slightly better, with 37.1 percent of characters and 42 percent of series regulars being female, and a higher proportion of women steering the production as directors or writers.