Hollywood: a man’s world?


In this blog, I am imagining I am guest lecturer at University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts School.  I work at seejane.org which is the public site of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media. My target audience are students enrolled in Film Studies. This blog shows the presentation I did (although it was to fellow students at UTS in Sydney).

My goal is convince new film makers that diversity is where the money is. My data on Hollywood is from a survey conducted by the Annenberg School of Journalism for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media entitled “Gender Roles & Occupations: A Look at Character Attributes and Job-Related Aspirations in Film and Television”. This is a study of 129 family films, 275 prime time shows and 36 children’s shows from 2006-2011, and evaluates this media on the roles it portrays for males and females.

My data on the population’s roles for males and females is from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and I use this to compare Hollywood to reality.

My take on the research conducted by the Institute is that it has actually been quite timely, in that in the years since 2011 when it was conducted, Hollywood has actually really started a massive movement and change. So my pitch is very positive and saying that the tide is turning by looking at real box office results from box office mojo.

My pitch deck begins by outlining how from 2006-2011 there is clearly gender imbalance towards males, and also a narrow view of what it means to be a male (slide 2-4). My visualisations highlight the key indicators of the lack of diversity in the cast (on a gender axis) and the types of professions the majority of men are portrayed in.

In slide 3, I posit the reason for this imbalance, due to the huge number of male directors dominating Hollywood. My visualisation highlights the 100% statistic and shows some familar faces.

In slide 6  I show who is underrepresented, women and certain males, and my visualisation in Slide 7 creates a metric to show the imbalance, ie the variance between population proportion of roles vs Hollywood, so under representation is on the left, and over representation is on the right.

In slide 8 and 9 I give evidence that since 2011 this is actually starting to change with some serious box office success of films with diverse casts.

Slide 10 is my key take away to students, that magic happens through embracing diversity and uncertainty, rather than a staid old formulaic film.

The presentation:

Slide 1: Title Slide

Slide 2 Establishing the basis for the argument: Observation 1

Slide 3 Establishing the basis for the argument: Observation 2

Slide 4 Establishing the basis for the argument: Observation 3

Slide 5 Surmising the underlying reason

Slide 6  Expressing dissatisfaction with Hollywood who leaves large groups underrepresented

Slide 7  Expressing the opportunity in the imbalance

Slide 8  Evidence of a shift in the balance

Slide 9  Final Argument 

Slide 10 Conclusion and Key take away

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