Greta Gerwig’s Barbie may have been the top-grossing film of 2023, but women are still dramatically underrepresented behind the camera in Hollywood, according to two major studies of the industry. At the same time, major studios that pledged to re-examine their diversity and inclusion practices in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 still fail to produce many films from people of color, according to USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The center’s latest report, titled Inclusion in the Director’s Chair, called the entertainment industry’s pledges to promote inclusion “performative acts” and “not real steps towards fostering change”. It is the second report in as many days to find that despite the outsized success of films directed by women in 2023, such as Barbie and Elizabeth Banks’s Cocaine Bear, studios are still not giving women the same opportunities behind the camera as their male counterparts.

The findings arrive even as women produced some of year’s buzziest films, but that critical and commercial success has not translated into significant change down the line. Overall, women accounted for 22% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers working on the 250 top-grossing films. There was also no significant improvement in racial and ethnic diversity behind the camera. The number of directors from underrepresented groups for the top 100 grossing films of 2023 – 26, or 22.4% – was essentially stagnant from 2022. Only four directors (3.4%) for the top 100 films in 2023 were women of color.

In summary, the Hollywood film industry continues to face significant gender and racial inequity behind the camera, despite the critical and commercial success of films produced and directed by women and people of color. The latest reports from USC and San Diego State University highlight the disparity and call for real action to address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the film industry.

Important Points:
– Despite the success of films directed by women and people of color, they are still underrepresented behind the camera in the Hollywood film industry.
– Studies from USC and San Diego State University reveal that the percentage of female film-makers has not notably improved since 2018.
– Women accounted for 22% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the 250 top-grossing films.
– There was also no significant improvement in racial and ethnic diversity behind the camera.
– The reports call for real action to address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the film industry.