Race and Hollywood Project: Background

The Hollywood entertainment industry is clearly big business.  In 2010, domestic box office figures topped $10 billion, while 2011 television ad revenue was expected to reach a record $68 billion.  But Hollywood is about more than just entertainment and sales.  Its images also reflect back to the people a sense of who they are, who they aren’t, and who they hope to be, thereby influencing the consumer and other choices we make in our increasingly mediated society.  In this sense, Hollywood images work both to reflect and shape the world around us.

So it is significant to note that the Hollywood industry is a relatively insular one.  It is dominated by white men who tend to reproduce themselves by hiring others with whom they feel comfortable, despite the ever-increasing diversity of American society.  Indeed, recent studies by the Writers Guild of AmericaDirectors Guild of America, and Screen Actors Guild document how severely underrepresented people of color and women are among Hollywood writers, directors and, to a lesser degree, actors.

The Bunche Center’s Race and Hollywood Project picks up where these studies leave off by producing the definitive analysis of diversity (or the lack thereof) in the film and television industries.  Please stay tuned to this featured post for major project developments.

NOTE:  In the preceding posts, we follow developments and provide current information on diversity-related issues in the entertainment industry .