It feels like every year I type the same thing when the USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative comes out, but for yet another year, major studios in Hollywood have been criticized for their lack of progress in hiring female filmmakers and people of color, despite earlier pledges to improve diversity.

Even when the studios said they would do better, the study found that the commitments made by these studios were largely performative and did not translate into significant changes in their hiring practices.

Barbie was the highest-grossing movie of 2023 and part of a cultural movement that made the film ubiquitous.

But across Hollywood, women and people of color are getting the shaft when it comes to being hired to direct.

The USC study reported that out of the 100 highest-grossing domestic films in 2023, 116 directors were involved, with only 14 of them, (12.1%) being women. This represents a marginal increase from 2022, where women directed 9% of top-grossing films. And only four were women of color.

Universal Pictures led major distributors in hiring female directors, with four. Lionsgate and Disney followed, with three and two female filmmakers hired, respectively.

Over the past 17 years, Universal Pictures has employed 27 women, representing 9.2% of its directors for major theatrical releases. Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Walt Disney Studios have lower percentages, at 6.6%, 6.3%, and 6.1% respectively. Paramount Pictures showed the least progress, with a mere 1.6% hiring rate for female filmmakers.

“Over more than a decade and a half, the percentage of women in top directing jobs has not even grown by 10 percentage points,” said Dr Stacy L Smith, the report’s author. She continued, “These figures are not merely data points on a chart. They represent real, talented women working to have sustainable careers in an industry that will not hire them into jobs they are qualified to hold solely because of their identity.”

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Sourced from Variety.