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Academy Awards: Diversity Yet to Come in Hollywood

DEBORAH CHEN
Copy Editor

This year’s Academy Awards included some historic firsts, such as “12 Years a Slave” winning Best Picture, the first win for a director or screenwriter of African descent as well as Alfonso Cuaron winning Best Director as the first Mexican director to win in this category. However, this is not an accurate depiction of the roles artists receive in Hollywood.

MOOR Graphic by GEN THIPATIMA

A 2014 report conducted by the Women’s Media Center shows that race and gender disparities still occur within the film industry. For example, only 33 of the 500 top-grossing films between 2007 and 2012 were directed by black men and only two were directed by black women. The numbers for Hispanic actors were a mere 4.2 percent. A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that, of all directors across the 180 films in the sample, only 7 percent were Asian.

The numbers of minorities represented in the film industry are ridiculously low. The industry needs to be more diverse, and Hollywood should be a stronger advocate of such diversity. There are several articles praising the Academy for showing more diversity this year, but the reality is that there needs to be more of this same change in Hollywood.

In addition, women also account for a very small percentage of the film industry. Only 16.7 percent of the 1,228 directors, producers and writers that were a part of the 100 top films of 2012 were women.

Throughout the years, women have continually gained more rights and opportunities. So women should also be given more chances in the film industry. Women can be just as competent as men, but they have very few opportunities to showcase their talent.

There should not be a lack of diversity in the film industry. The success of minorities in the film industry is amazing, but it would be foolish to think that just because a few have obtained success at the Academy Awards that Hollywood has suddenly come around.

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