22 Jul Read the report ‘Inclusion in the Director’s Chair’: Inclusion in Director’s Chair.pdf 2. Write a 500 – 750-word response to the report that addresses each of the following qu
in Social Science / Sociology
1. Read the report “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair”: Inclusion in Director’s Chair.pdf
2. Write a 500 – 750-word response to the report that addresses each of the following questions:
- What was the most surprising result highlighted in this study? Why?
- If you were in charge of a major film studio, what policies would you implement to address the issues raised in this report?
Inclusion in the Director’s Chair: Analysis of Director Gender &
Race/Ethnicity Across 1,300 Top Films from 2007 to 2019
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Kevin Yao, Hannah Clark & Dr. Katherine Pieper
INCLUSION IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR? ANALYSIS OF DIRECTOR GENDER & RACE/ETHNICITY
ACROSS 1,300 TOP FILMS FROM 2007 TO 2019 USC ANNENBERG INCLUSION INITIATIVE
FEMALES ARE OUTNUMBERED IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
PREVALENCE OF FEMALE DIRECTORS ACROSS 1,300 FILMS in percentages
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
4.5 Total Number
of Directors 1,448
Percentage of Female Directors
Across 13 Years 4.8%
NO DIFFERENCE IN METACRITIC SCORES BY FILM DIRECTOR GENDER Median and average Metacritic score across 1,300 films from 2007 to 2019
RATIO OF MALE TO FEMALE DIRECTORS ACROSS 13 YEARS
20 TO 1
‘15‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘16 ‘18‘11 ‘17 ‘19
*Box Office data was pulled on 1/1/20, using projections for the 99th and 100th film in the sample. Fluctuations in rank and included films will occur after study release.
2007 AND 2019
FEMALE DIRECTORS ACROSS 1,300 TOP-GROSSING FILMS
Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Julie Anne Robinson
57 Loveleen Tandan*
Shari Springer Berman
Jennifer Yuh Nelson*
*An asterisk denotes an underrepresented
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
3 11 38 8 13
1,44870 OUT OF
220 164 240
FEMALE DIRECTORS BY DISTRIBUTOR Number of female directors across 1,300 films by distributor
124Total # of Directors
UNDERREPRESENTED DIRECTORS BY DISTRIBUTOR
NUMBER OF UR
20TH CENTURY FOX
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
10.1 8.3 9.1
12.2 12.2 13.3
UNDERREPRESENTED DIRECTORS BY YEAR Number of underrepresented directors across 1,300 films
‘15‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘16 ‘18‘11 ‘17 ‘19
Number of underrepresented directors across 1,300 films
PERCENTAGE OF UR
Race/ethnicity of 57 individual female directors across 1,300 films
HOLLYWOOD’S IMAGE OF A FEMALE DIRECTOR IS A WHITE WOMAN
46 WOMEN ARE WHITE
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
Films by White Directors
Films by UR Directors
METACRITIC SCORES FOR UNDERREPRESENTED DIRECTORS Median and average Metacritic score across 1,300 films from 2007 to 2019
THE MIDPOINT SCORE IS THE SAME FOR FILMS BY
WHITE AND UNDERREPRESENTED
GENDER & UNDERREPRESENTED STATUS OF FILM DIRECTORS Percentage and number of directors by gender and underrepresented status across 1,300 films from 2007 to 2019
11 WOMEN ARE FROM UNDERREPRESENTED RACIAL/ETHNIC GROUPS
Percentage of female directors by media platform PIPELINE PROBLEMS: CAREER PROGRESS STALLS FOR FEMALES
FROM NARRATIVE INDEPENDENT FILMS
TO TOP-GROSSING FILMS
Netflix Directors 2019
Narrative Independent Films
Episodic TV Directors 2018-19
Top-Grossing Films 2007-2019
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
RATIO OF WHITE MEN TO UNDERREPRESENTED WOMEN DIRECTORS ACROSS 13 YEARS
92 TO 1
UNDERREPRESENTED WOMEN DIRECTORS BY DISTRIBUTOR Number of underrepresented women directors per distributor from 2007-2019
13 years: 2007-2019. 1,300 movies. 13
Zero underrepresented women directors worked on top films from Lionsgate, STX, or other distributors.
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
METACRITIC SCORES BY GENDER AND UNDERREPRESENTED STATUS Average metacritic score by gender and race/ethnicity of directors, 2007-2019
DIRECTORS EARN THE HIGHEST AVERAGE
& MIDPOINT SCORES OF
YET, THEY WORK THE
FEMALE DIRECTORS BY DISTRIBUTOR SLATE & YEAR Percentage of female directors per distributor slate, 2015-2019
54.3 54.354.2 62.5
by White Males
OF BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEES
FROM 2008-2020 WERE FEMALE.
94.9% WERE MALE.
THE GENDER GAP IN AWARDS Percentage of Female Directors by Award Type, 2008-2020
4.9 3.24.5 7.1
THE HURT LOCKER
ZERO DARK THIRTY
FEMALE DIRECTORS RECEIVING AWARD NOMINATIONS Female directors and films nominated for Best Directing awards from 2008-2020
TOP PERFORMER IN 2019: UNIVERSAL PICTURES Universal distributed the most films by women directors in 2019.
95.195.5 96.8 92.9
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
A black check mark indicates a nomination; a red check indicates a nomination and win.
26 OUT OF 40 FILM SLATES FROM 8 COMPANIES (2015-2019) DID NOT INCLUDE EVEN ONE UNDERREPRESENTED WOMAN DIRECTOR.
FOR FEMALE DIRECTORS, 2019 WAS A BANNER YEAR
12 FEMALE DIRECTORS WORKED ACROSS THE 100 TOP-GROSSING FILMS OF 2019. 4 OF THOSE WOMEN WERE WOMEN OF COLOR.
© 2020 DR. STACY L. SMITH
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 1
Inclusion in the Director’s Chair: Analysis of Director Gender and Race/Ethnicity Across 1,300 Top Films from 2007 to 2019
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
Each year, we examine the gender and race/ethnicity of directors working across the 100 top fictional films theatrically released in the U.S. A total of 1,300 of the most popular movies were included in the analysis, from 2007 to 2019. Put differently, 1,448 directors were assessed across two inclusion metrics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity). Given the recent conversation surrounding women directors in the press, we conducted 3 additional analyses: a slate analysis of director inclusion across all the movies distributed by 8 major companies from 2015-2019; a pipeline analysis of female directors in entertainment (e.g., Sundance Film Festival, episodic television, Netflix movies), and an examination of female directors’ award nominations across the last 13 years at 4 organizations (Golden Globes, Academy Awards, DGA, Critics’ Choice). Findings are presented below for each section of the report.
Key Findings: 1,300 Top Grossing Movies from 2007-2019
A total of 113 directors were attached across the 100 top movies of 2019. A full 89.4% (n=101) were male and 10.6% (n=12) were female. This calculates into a gender ratio of 8.4 males to every 1 female. Across 1,300 films and 1,448 helmers, only 4.8% of directors were women. Has the prevalence of female directors changed over time? Yes. 2019 had a significantly higher percentage (10.6%) and number of female directors than 2018 (4.5%, n=5) or 2007 (2.7%, n=3). Of the major studios, Universal Pictures had the most female directors attached to the films they distributed (15 women), followed by Warner Bros. (13 women) and Sony Pictures Entertainment (11 women). The company with the worst track record for distributing films helmed by female directors was Paramount Pictures, which had only 3 pictures out of 134 movies distributed from 2007-2019 directed by a woman. Critical reception of male- and female-directed films was assessed using Metacritic scores. The average Metacritc score for films with only male directors attached (Mean=54.2, Range=9-100) was virtually identical to those with a female director attached (Mean=55.8, Range=22-95). The medians across these two groups were also evaluated, and revealed no difference between male- and female-directed films. Despite receiving the same average critical review, female directors were given substantially less access and opportunity than male directors to helm these highly visible films. Underrepresented Directors Of the 113 directors of 2019, a full 83.2% were white (n=94) and 16.8% (n=19) were underrepresented. This is substantially below U.S. Census, which is 39.6%. The ratio of white directors to underrepresented directors is 4.9 to 1. Only 13.5% of all helmers across the 13-year sample were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. 2019 (16.8%) was not meaningfully different from 2018 (21.4%) for underrepresented directors nor was it
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 2
significantly higher than 2007 (12.5%). 2019 was practically different only from 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Of the major studios, Universal Pictures has the highest number of underrepresented directors attached to their distributed films (39 directors) followed by Sony Pictures Entertainment (34 directors) and 20th Century Fox (29 directors). Disney has the worst track record (10 directors) from 2007 to 2019. No differences in average Metacritic scores were observed between white (Mean=54.2, Range=9-100) and underrepresented directors (Mean=54.9, Range=11-99). Medians also did not differ, with both groups having the same Metacritic mid-point in the distribution of their movies (54). Women of Color Directors Only 13 women from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups have directed any of the 1,300 top movies from 2007 to 2019. This is less than 1% of all directing jobs (n=1,448) whereas white males held 82.5% of jobs, underrepresented males 12.6% of jobs, and white females 3.9% of jobs. The ratio of white male directors to underrepresented female directors was 92 to 1. Yet, this group of women represents 20% of the U.S. population. Only two underrepresented female directors – Ava DuVernay and Jennifer Yuh Nelson – have helmed more than one movie appearing across the 1,300 films and 13-year sample. Four of the women of color were added to the list in 2019 (i.e., Kasi Lemmons, Melina Matsoukas, Roxann Dawson, Tina Gordon). No company has distributed the stories of more than 4 underrepresented female directors across 13 years. The average Metacritic score was higher for stories directed by women of color (Mean=62.5, Range=44- 89) than those stories directed by white males (Mean=54.2, Range=9-100), white females (Mean=54.3, Range=22-95), or underrepresented males (Mean=54.3, Range=11-99). The medians in the distributions followed the same pattern. Clearly, there is a major disconnect between hiring practices in Hollywood and who has the cinematic heft to carry stories.
Slate Analysis: 2015-2019
All the films distributed by 8 companies and their wholly-owned subsidiaries were evaluated for director gender and race/ethnicity. The analysis only included U.S. theatrical releases, fictional films, new releases, and those movies presented either in English or with the U.S. listed as the country of origin (whole or part). Over 5 years, a full 688 movies met the criteria with 755 directors attached. Of the 755 helmers across slates, 90.2% were male (n=681) and 9.8% were female (n=74). The 74 females were primarily Caucasian (74.3%, n=55); only 25.7% (n=19) were women of color. Over time, 2019 was the highest year across the 5 examined (15%, n=20 female directors). 2019 was higher than 2018 (7.6%, n=11) and 2015 (8.6%, n=14). The most notable change was observed at Universal Pictures. In 2019, 7 female directors were attached to movies distributed by Universal Pictures and/or their wholly owned subsidiaries in comparison to 3-4 in the years prior. The remaining companies only increased or decreased by 1 film save Warner Bros., which decreased 2 movies from 2015 but showed a gain from 2018. Paramount Pictures did not distribute a single movie with a female director in 5 years.
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 3
Over the last five years, 26 of the 40 film slates distributed across the largest companies did not have a single woman of color attached to direct. Sony Pictures Entertainment was the anomaly, distributing movies made by 7 women of color over 5 years.
Pipeline Analysis We examined three access points to the broader film industry: 1) taking a feature to U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, 2) directing an episode of fictional television, and/or 3) helming a Netflix movie. Across 5 years (2015-2019) at the Sundance Film Festival, females comprised 34.5% (n=29) of all U.S. Dramatic Competition directors. Of the 29 female directors, 11 were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. This calculates into 13.1% of the total pool of competition directors (n=84). Pivoting to episodic storytelling, the Directors Guild of America (2019) recently released findings on working directors by gender and race/ethnicity across the 2018 – 2019 television season. According to their information, 31% of all directors during the last season were women, with 22% Caucasian and 8% from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. It is important to note that these findings are from the DGA report released in 2019 and are included here only for purposes of comparison. Rounding out the pipeline, a full 20% of the 53 U.S. films (n=55 directors) streamed by Netflix in 2019 had a female director attached. Eight of those women (14.5%) were white and 3 were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (5.5%). These findings from episodic television and Netflix movies illuminate just how out of step the studios and mini majors are in their hiring and acquisition practices when it comes to female directors.
Female Director Awards Recognition: 2007-2019
We examined the gender of director nominations across 13 years and 4 awards shows: Golden Globe Awards, The Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards, Academy Awards/Oscars, and Critics’ Choice Awards. Overall, a total of 273 nominations were given out across the 4 top award shows with 94.9% allocated to male directors (n=259) and 5.1% allocated to female directors (n=14). All 14 of these nominations were accounted for by 4 women (Angelina Jolie, Ava DuVernay, Kathryn Bigelow, Greta Gerwig). Only 1 director was a woman of color (Ava DuVernay). Was there notable deviation by awards show over the last 13 years? All of the organizations were problematic in recognizing female talent, with the Critics’ Choice Awards (7.1%, n=6) slightly more welcoming to female directors than the Golden Globes (4.5%, n=3), DGA Awards (4.9%, n=3), or the Oscars (3.2%, n=2).
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 4
Inclusion in the Director’s Chair: Analysis of Director Gender and Race/Ethnicity Across the 1,300 Top Films from 2007 to 2019
A Research Brief
Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Kevin Yao, Hannah Clark, & Dr. Katherine Pieper
Each year, we examine the gender and race/ethnicity of directors working across the 100 top fictional films theatrically released in the U.S.1 A total of 1,300 of the most popular movies were included in the analysis, from 2007 to 2019.2 We focused on the top leadership position in film production, as the director is involved in not only working with above the line talent (e.g., writers, producers, actors) but also unit heads employed below the line as crew. In the film industry, like many other sectors of employment, leadership can be both gendered and racialized in ways that limit access and opportunity for women and/or people of color.3
In this research brief, we overview the 2019 findings from the 100 top films first followed by a comparison to the 100 top films of 2018 and then 2007. Only 5 percentage point differences or greater were noted. This criterion was set to ensure making noise about substantive changes and not trivial deviations (1-2%). Detailed information about our methodology can be found in the footnotes or online in previous releases of our Inclusion in the Director’s Chair report.4 One final caveat is worth noting. We pulled the final list of 2019 films on the morning of January 1st 2020. Because within year box office is still accumulating and we anticipated changes to the list by the first weekend in the new year, we used projected box office figures to determine the 99th and 100th film included in the sample. In addition to this, several movies are still in theaters and the 100 top films may continue to shift in rank over the next several weeks. Some films will be added to or fall off the list. As such, we present the report as a brief with the intent to release a longer manuscript later in the year.
Gender A total of 113 directors were attached across the 100 top movies of 2019. A full 89.4% (n=101) were male and 10.6% (n=12) were female. This calculates into a gender ratio of 8.4 males to every 1 female. The 12 female directors include: Anna Boden, Gail Mancuso, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, Jill Culton, Kasi Lemmons, Lorene Scafaria, Marielle Heller, Melina Matsoukas, Olivia Wilde, Roxann Dawson, and Tina Gordon. Sample wide, only 4.8% of directors were women. Has the prevalence of female directors changed over time? As shown in Table 1, 2019 has a significantly higher percentage and number of female directors than 2018 (4.5%, n=5) or 2007 (2.7%, n=3). Matter of fact, the number has more than doubled since 2018 and tripled from 2007. It must also be noted that 2019 is not practically different from 2008 (9 women), the previous high for women directors working across the 100 top films.
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 5
Table 1 Director Gender of Fictional Films by Year
Year Males Females Total 2007 97.3% (n=109) 2.7% (n=3) 112 2008 92% (n=103) 8% (n=9) 112 2009 96.4% (n=107) 3.6% (n=4) 111 2010 97.2% (n=106) 2.8% (n=3) 109 2011 96.3% (n=104) 3.7% (n=4) 108 2012 95.9% (n=116) 4.1% (n=5) 121 2013 98.1% (n=105) 1.9% (n=2) 107 2014 98.1% (n=105) 1.9% (n=2) 107 2015 92.5% (n=99) 7.5% (n=8) 107 2016 95.8% (n=115) 4.2% (n=5) 120 2017 92.7% (n=101) 7.3% (n=8) 109 2018 95.5% (n=107) 4.5% (n=5) 112 2019 89.4% (n=101) 10.6% (n=12) 113
Overall 95.2% (n=1,378) 4.8% (n=70) 1,448
The female director working the most frequently over the sample time frame was Anne Fletcher, with 4 films followed by Lana Wachowski with 3. Ava DuVernay worked on two movies across the 100 top films from 2007 to 2019 as did Catherine Hardwicke, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Julie Anne Robinson, Nancy Meyers and Phyllida Lloyd. Next, we looked at the companies distributing female-directed films.5 To this end, each film was sorted by its distributor. Outside of the studios and mini majors, all other companies were collapsed into an “other” (e.g., A24, MGM, UA) category. As shown in Table 2, Universal Pictures (15 women) had the most female directors attached to the films they distributed, followed by Warner Bros. (13 women) and Sony Pictures Entertainment (11 women). The company with the worst track record for distributing films helmed by female directors was Paramount Pictures, which had only 3 pictures out of 134 movies distributed from 2007-2019 directed by a woman. STX also had 3 female directors, but only 19 films were in the 100 top movies starting in 2015.
Table 2 # of Female Directors Across 1,300 Films by Distributor
# of Female Directors 4 3 11 3 8 15 8 13 5 # of Directors Overall 123 152 211 22 192 220 164 240 124
Examining the critical reception of films by director gender was the next focus of the report. All 1,300 movies were bifurcated into two silos: those with a female director attached (n=69) vs. those without a
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 6
female director attached (n=1,230). Then, we compared Metacritic scores — an aggregate and weighted mean across reviews — between these two groups. 6
Figure 1 Average Metacritic Score by Film Director Gender
As shown in Figure 1, the average Metacritc score for films with only male directors attached (Mean=54.2, Range=9-100) was virtually identical to those with a female director attached (Mean=55.8, Range=22-95). The medians across these two groups were also evaluated, and revealed no difference between male-directed films (Median=54) and female-directed films (Median=55). Thus, the critical reception for these two groups of films was identical. Overall, few female directors work across the 100 top-grossing films in Hollywood. Though 2019 was a high in terms of the percentage and number of women directors, it was still a far cry from girls and women comprising 51% of the U.S. population.7 Further, the results of this section show that there were no differences in the critical review of female-directed and male-directed films. Despite receiving the same average critical review, female directors were given substantially less access and opportunity than male directors to helm these highly visible films. We now turn our attention to another marginalized community in Hollywood, directors from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Race/Ethnicity Each director was coded for race/ethnicity using a modified scheme based on U.S. Census categories. This measure was then collapsed into one of two categories: white vs. underrepresented racial/ethnic group. Of the 113 directors of 2019, a full 83.2% were white (n=94) and 16.8% (n=19) were underrepresented. This is substantially below U.S. Census, which is 39.6%.8 The ratio of white directors to underrepresented directors is 4.9 to 1.
Metacritic Average Score
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 7
Director Underrepresented Status of Fictional Films by Year
Year White Underrepresented Total 2007 87.5% (n=98) 12.5% (n=14) 112 2008 88.4% (n=99) 11.6% (n=13) 112 2009 86.5% (n=96) 13.5% (n=15) 111 2010 89.9% (n=98) 10.1% (n=11) 109 2011 91.7% (n=99) 8.3% (n=9) 108 2012 90.9% (n=110) 9.1% (n=11) 121 2013 83.2% (n=89) 16.8% (n=18) 107 2014 87.9% (n=94) 12.2% (n=13) 107 2015 87.9% (n=94) 12.2% (n=13) 107 2016 86.7% (n=104) 13.3% (n=16) 120 2017 81.7% (n=89) 18.3% (n=20) 109 2018 78.6% (n=88) 21.4% (n=24) 112 2019 83.2% (n=94) 16.8% (n=19) 113
Overall 86.5% (n=1,252) 13.5% (n=196) 1,448 Only 13.5% of all helmers across the 13-year sample were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. Over time trends can be found in Table 3. 2019 (16.8%) was not meaningfully different from 2018 (21.4%) for underrepresented directors nor was it significantly higher than 2007 (12.5%). 2019 was practically different only from 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The underrepresented director working the most frequently across the 100 top movies from 2007 to 2019 was Tyler Perry (18 films). Antoine Fuqua directed 7 films and James Wan, Jaume Collet-Serra, M. Night Shyamalan, Malcolm D. Lee, and Tim Story each helmed 6. The breakdown of underrepresented directors by distributors can be found in Table 4. Again, Universal Pictures (39 directors) has the highest number of underrepresented directors attached to their distributed films followed by Sony Pictures Entertainment (34 directors) and 20th Century Fox (29 directors). The worst offender was STX Entertainment, with no movies distributed with an underrepresented director behind the lens.
Table 4 # of Underrepresented Directors Across 1,300 Films by Distributor
# of UR Directors 26 14 34 0 29 39 10 25 19 # of Directors Overall 123 152 211 22 192 220 164 240 124
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — 8
Does critical reception vary by director underrepresented status (yes, no)? To answer this query, we separated the films into two categories: those with only white directors (n=1,107) and those with at least one underrepresented director attached (n=192). As shown in Figure 2, no differences in average Metacritic scores were observed between white (Mean=54.2, Range=9-100) and underrepresented directors (Mean=54.9, Range=11-99). Medians also did not differ, with both groups having the same Metacritic mid-point in the distribution of their movies (54).
Figure 2 Average Metacritic Score by Film Director Underrepresented Status
Summing up, the percentage of films with an underrepresented director attached was far below U.S. Census. Similar to female directors, the movies made by directors from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups were just as strong as those from their white counterparts. Hollywood routinely shuts out women directors and helmers from underrepres
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