The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles recently announced plans to issue an annual score card of diversity efforts among Hollywood entertainment companies. The announcement comes in the wake of recent backlash after the Academy Awards was blasted for the lack of diversity among its 2015 Oscars nominations.
“In 2013, there were 17 films among the top 100 grossing movies that featured not one Black or African-American speaking character. Across 600 popular films between 2007 and 2013, just two were directed by Black women,” said Professor Stacy L. Smith, who leads the Media, Diversity & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC Annenberg, in a statement.
“Clearly, not one group or one company is solely responsible for the lack of diversity on-screen or behind the camera,” Smith added. “We need a broader look at who is doing well, and who needs to step up their game. The USC Annenberg CARD will do just that.”
The annual assessment will examine and grade diversity in content across film, TV, and digital media, including factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, and LGBT representation. It will also examine diversity within the executive suites of these companies.
The initiative will also include recognition of persons who have made considerable contributions toward inclusion in the industry.
USC Annenberg officials said the CARD effort reflects the school’s broader commitment to diversity and entertainment. For example, the school recently launched the Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA), a research center examining inclusivity across media industries.
“The mission of this new institute and report card is integrated into everything we do,” said USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III. “This is not a sidebar; this is core to our school’s vision.”