Report reveals extent to which female, black and Asian directors are unrepresented in Hollywood

Ava DuVernay will be Disney's first black, female director in years with A Wrinkle in Time. Photo/AP
Ava DuVernay will be Disney's first black, female director in years with A Wrinkle in Time. Photo/AP

A new study has revealed that Disney has a serious problem when it comes to diversity, one that they are far from fixing.

The Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative has analysed the top 1,000 highest grossing movies from the past 10 years and evaluated how many of them were directed by women, African-Americans and Asians.

The results show that Walt Disney is one of the biggest offenders for diversity. Of the 101 films the company released in that time, not a single one came from a black director. Five of their movies were directed by a woman, including Kiwi Niki Caro, and four by Asians.

The studio has attempted to change those fortunes recently, hiring Ava DuVernay to helm A Wrinkle in Time and Ryan Coggler for superhero flick Black Panther.

20th Century Fox ranked the best, with seven women, six black and five Asian directors across their 137 distributed movies.

In total, only 91 black and Asian directors directed movies in the top 1,000, with 1,023 of them white.

Shockingly, of the 1,114 directors, only 35 of them were women.

The study showed that female directors were also more likely to only get one opportunity to direct high-budget movies, with 80 per cent only directing one movie on the list, compared to 54.8 per cent of men.

Four per cent of male directors directed more than five movies on the list, an achievement no women hit.

No women over the age of 70 directed a top-grossing movie, while 27 male directors have the same achievement. At the other end, no women under 30 cracked the top 1,000, compared to eight men.

Some stars have been insistent on having diverse directors behind the camera. Natalie Portman insisted on a female director for an upcoming biopic on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and DC insisted on a female director for their Wonder Woman reboot. Marvel is similarly doing the same for their first female superhero movie, Captain Marvel.

Last year, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was criticised for saying that she didn't think there were any female directors ready to helm a Star Wars movie.

Previous reports from the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative have showcased how female characters get less than a third of speaking roles, and 82 per cent of films in 2015 didn't have a single LGBT+ character.

- NZ Herald

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