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(Expansion) - Women had an exceptional year in Hollywood movies and on television over the past year, reaching record levels in leading roles and gaining ground in influential behind-the-scenes work, as directors or screenwriters, according to a study by the School Annenberg Communications and Journalism from the University of Southern California (USC).
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39 of the 100 main films of 2018 presented a woman in a leading or co-leading role, surpassing 33 of 2017 and by far, at 20 of 2007, the year in which the USC began making its measurements of equity.
Another increasingly recognized sector within the industry are black and Asian characters, for example, blockbusters such as Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians also broke down barriers, reflecting the drive for broader changes in the entertainment industry that They were fueled by the scandal of inappropriate sexual behavior in 2017 in Hollywood and the #OscarsSoWhite reaction four years ago.
"In 2018 we saw companies take steps to ensure that certain groups were included in some of their most notable films," says Stacy L. Smith, one of the authors of the USC study.
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On television, female characters represented a record 45% of roles with dialogue in comedies, and reality shows on television, cable and streaming services, compared to 40% in the 2017-2018 television season, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television at the University of San Diego.
Behind the scenes, women accounted for a record 31% of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, editors and directors of photography.
Not everything is good news, as the USC also points out that as women get older, they are less likely to find employment in the middle. Only 11 films were starred by an actress older than 44 years, compared to the five of 2017. Although it is a progress, it contrasts with the male roles, where 24 films were starring a man over 44 years.
There is still a way to go
However, both studies said that despite the progress, much remains to be done.
While women accounted for a record high of 26% of directors in the 2018-2019 television season that has just ended, men still outnumber women by 3 to 1 in those roles, according to the San study Diego.
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Hollywood remains well below the 50/50 parity between men and women that activists are asking for, among on-screen talents, behind-the-scenes workers and studio executives.
The percentage of female characters on screen in top films has not changed in more than a decade. More. Than. A. Decade. #ascj https://t.co/oho60fX1Ea pic.twitter.com/YCfebf1dKc
- Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (@Inclusionists) September 4, 2019
In addition, it was found that the analyzed films largely ignored the LGBTQ population and almost completely included characters with disabilities.
Only 1.3% of the characters in the 100 best films belong to the LGBTQ community. From 2014 to 2017, there was only one transgender character and in 2018, less than 2% of the characters showed a disability, says the USC study.
With information from Reuters.