Today's Date: March 4, 2021
Xfinity Communities Offers Riverside Foundry Residents High Performance WiFi Ready Experience   •   Subsplash Messaging Provides a Compelling Alternative to GroupMe & Slack for Churches   •   The Change Company Names B.C. Silver President of Digital Banking   •   Wounded Warrior Project Testifies Before Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees   •   CORRECTING and REPLACING Micro-Mobility Leader, Helbiz, Launches E-Scooters in Jacksonville, Florida   •   Announcing a Milestone Event for Gender Equality   •   Study Shows SARS-CoV-2 Virus Not Detected in Human Semen   •   CNNBS Announces New Partnership With Baroni Cannabis   •   Top LA Agency, Westside Nannies, Voices Concerns Over Nannies Being Excluded from Vaccine Phase 1B   •   Treehouse CEO Issues Statement: We Must Denounce All Instances of Hate   •   SoleSavy Hires Former Los Angeles Lakers Head of Marketing as Senior Vice President of Marketing   •   Five Termite Species All Homeowners Should Be Aware Of   •   Secret Deodorant Brings Relief to Over 100,000 Women and Their Families with YWCA Partnership   •   PGMA Safety Campaign Warns of Carbon Monoxide Dangers With Portable Generator Misuse   •   Innovative Procedures Allow Identical Twin to Donate to Her Sister's Breast Reconstruction   •   Statement from AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins Condemning Surge in Pandemic-Related Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Is   •   Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer to Host Virtual Leadership Institute Focusing on Professional Development of Women in Cancer   •   Gillette® Announces the Return of the Gillette Gaming Alliance   •   Childhood Cancer Did Not Pause During the Pandemic and Neither Will the St. Baldrick's Foundation   •   Well-Deserved Recognition of Attorney Ben Crump's Impact on Social Justice
Bookmark and Share

Hollywood Movies With Black Directors Have More Black Characters

 LOS ANGELES — Hollywood movies directed by African-Americans are significantly more likely to include African-American characters with speaking roles than movies not directed by African-Americans, according to a report released today from USC Annenberg.

The report, "Black Characters in Popular Film: Is the Key to Diversifying Cinematic Content Held in the Hand of the Black Director?", is written by USC Annenberg’s Dr. Stacy L. Smith and project administrator Marc Choueiti and includes data from their ongoing, multi-year Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative.

"One fitting extrapolation of this small study is that the race of directors may really matter," Smith said. "And one key to diversifying content would be to diversify who is at the helm."

Smith, Choueiti and teams of undergraduate researchers annually view the top 100 grossing movies released theatrically in the United States and Canada. (More than 300 students have worked on the project since its 2006 inception.) Under Choueiti's supervision, the students train for six weeks and then meticulously code the movies across more than two dozen measures.

Smith and Choueiti regularly release snapshots culled from the research. Their report about gender was released last month. This secondary analysis, "Black Characters," examines in particular the presence – or lack thereof – of African-Americans and other ethnicities in the top 100 grossing films from 2007 and 2008.

During 2008, according to Smith and Choueiti's research, five African-American directors headed up a total of six of those top 100 productions. Nearly 63 percent of the characters with speaking lines in those six films are black. In the other top 94 films from the same year, less than 11 percent of the characters with speaking lines are black.

Grouped together, numbers from the top 100 do resemble U.S. population figures, as 13.2 percent of all speaking roles coded that year went to black characters. The U.S. Census indicates 12.6 percent of the nation's population then was African-American.

In 2007, a similar number (13 percent) of overall speaking roles in the top 100 movies went to black characters, but that percentage rose to 50 percent in films with black directors. That's a lower, but still significant, ethnic differentiation compared with 2008.

Smith said the recent findings from the same data set for female characters and female directors run along the same general lines.

"It could be that a person in a position of power is advocating on behalf of their group," Smith said. "But the flip side to this is that the people responsible for green-lighting the picture may be associating black directors and female directors with 'black' storylines or 'female' storylines."

Only one of the top 200 movies from 2007 and 2008 was directed by an African-American woman, "Black Characters" reports. "Black Characters" also quantifies the continuing, although slightly diminished, sexualization of black female movie roles versus black male movie roles.

”Compared with all characters, we see a similar pattern regarding gender differences in how characters are sexualized when focusing solely on black males and females.” Choueiti said. “Black females are more likely than black males to be presented in sexually revealing or alluring attire, as partially nude, and as attractive, potentially reinforcing a value on how black girls and women look over other traits.”

The report concludes: "Repeated viewings of these types of portrayals may reinforce male and females beliefs that black girls/women are to be valued for how they look rather than who they are."

The report's conclusion also notes that Hispanics are under-represented in 2008 speaking roles (4.9 percent) compared with 2008 U.S. population figures (16.3 percent).

“Overall young consumers are still receiving a relatively homogenous view of race/ethnicity in popular motion picture content” Smith said. “Such portrayals may communicate to children and adolescents of color that their stories are not as important as their Caucasian counterparts.” 


STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News