I finally processed the information on the leads for the top 250 grossing films (I’m going to do 500 in all), and I have some really, really great facts:
- Of the films, 209 starred a straight white man, or had a straight white male voice actor. This translates to 83.6% of all these films having a straight white male protagonist.
- This left only 41 films with a protagonist who was a person of colour and/or woman (no films had a queer protagonist). This translated to 16.4% of all the films.
- "So what? Straight white men are the majority group in America." a) no, the largest demographic group in America is actually technically straight white women, and b) not by 83.6% they fucking aren’t.
- If we look at American demographics (America is where these films are being made and mostly marketed for, after all) we find that only 31.3% of people in the USA are straight white men, while 68.7% are not.
- This means that 31.3% of the US population is recieving 83.6% of the representation, and the remaining 68.7% majority are squabbling over the remaining 16.4%. That’s unbelievably, amazingly shit.
BUT: The world isn’t split into straight white men and everyone else, so let’s break this down further. Of the 41 films left over for the rest of us:
- 10 starred a straight black man. (8 of these leads were played by Will Smith.), making up 2.5% of all the films.
- 26 starred a straight white woman, making up 10.4% of all the films.
- 2 films starred straight South Asian men, making up 0.8% of the films.
- 1 film starred an East Asian man and 1 starred a Middle Eastern man - 0.4% of the films each.
- A grand total of ONE of the 250 highest grossing films of all time stars a woman of colour. Scraping in at number 242, and made in 1995, it’s Pocahontas; which is racist as fuck and demeans the memory of a real Native American woman. Fantastic. It’ll also probably have fallen out of the top 250 by the next year, while no other films with WoC leads seem likely to replace it.
- This means that huge demographic groups are missing. 16.3% of people in the US identify as Latin@, and not a single film on this list has a Latin@ protagonist.
- Roughly 10% of the US identifies as LGBT+. None of these films has a queer protagonist.
- The reason that these films are so high grossing is because of the marketing they recieve. Studios are putting all of their money into films with straight white men, preventing casting of women and people of colour and just generally fucking people over; but this isn’t any necessary indication of what people are willing to see at all. It’s worth noting that the single most successful actor on that list is Will Smith. People are clearly willing to pay out money to watch Will Smith doing stuff, and studios are backing this and enabling more and more films of Will Smith (and his son) doing more and more stuff. His popularity shows fairly clearly that cinemagoers are definitely willing to watch (and probably actively demanding of, seeing as people of colour and white women are more likely to go to the cinema) men of colour in film, and the success of franchises such as Twilight and The Hunger Games shows audiences backing white women (women of colour have yet to be given a real chance). As such, we can definitively say that this is especially a problem with Hollywood, and withe the people making these films - a problem which obviously needs to change.
Tl; dr: Representation in Hollywood is really, really shit.
- Straight white men are 31.3% of the population, 83.6% of the leads. Lucky bastards.
- People of colour are 28.6% of the population, 6.4% of the leads (2.8% if you remove Will Smith, thanks Will.)
- Women are 51% of the population, 10.8% of the leads.
- There’s no intersection here. If you’re a woman of colour, a queer woman and/or queer person of colour, then you’re getting fuck all.
Just in case you had any doubt of just how little representation most of the population are getting.
A mother in St. Louis was unknowingly the reason for a lockdown at her special needs son’s school.
“I was lying in bed when I received a frantic phone call from the teacher, Michael was panicking,” said Niakea Williams — whose young son Michael has Asperger’s Syndrome — of the call she received before heading to the school.
“I saw a teacher and she said Ms. Williams what is wrong? I said something is wrong with Mikey and proceeded to go straight to my son.”
Once Williams got to her son’s classroom, she tried to calm him down and console him. The Walnut Groves Elementary School principal then entered the room to inform Williams that she failed to sign in at the desk and had therefore broken policy.
“’I didn’t sign the book, but I had to check on my son. You can bring me the book.’ She said, ‘Oh no, I’ve already called the police,’’ recalled Williams.
Soon after, local police arrived at the scene and arrested Williams in front of her son while the rest of the school was placed on a 12-minute lockdown. The school said the reason for the lockdown was “unauthorized entry to a school.”
“They escorted me away from my son, who already has emotional distress,” said Williams. “Four officers told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back, I was under arrest.”
Williams believes her arrest was unnecessary and that the school overreacted. She says that everyone there already knows who she is, including the principal, claiming that they had actually met just a week prior to the incident. Williams is trying to fight the charges against her.
Of all the spiteful petty things to do after an obvious misunderstanding. Heaping this sort of anxiety and embarrassment on top of an already escalating behavioral episode is pretty unprofessional, in my book.
In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death [and Renisha McBride and Jonathan Ferrell], we’ve seen a lot of discussion of the larger societal issues that play into how and when people are perceived as criminals. There were hoodies, there were marches, and there were frank talks from parent to child about how to minimize the danger of being a young person of color. On the other side, there were justifications of George Zimmerman’s actions: a smear campaign against Martin’s character, and plenty of writers explaining that statistically, blacks are simply more dangerous to be around.
That framing ignores the realities behind the numbers. Here are five myths about crime and people of color.
BEEN LOOKIN FOR THIS
Team Rocket announces their scheme to take over this particular electronics store.
You find yourself in a group of people standing next to a cliff.
Suddenly, someone pushes another person, sending them over the edge. Thankfully, the victim is able to hold on to the edge rather than fall to their death, but nobody makes a move to help them or stop the perpetrator. Everyone, including yourself, simply stands there watching.
Angry that they’ve been pushed, angry that nobody is helping them as they struggle not to fall, the victim screams, ‘Is anybody going to fucking help me??’
That gets everyone’s attention. ‘Why are you mad at me?’ one person asks. ‘I didn’t push you.’
'Nobody is going to want to help you with an attitude like that.'
'You're just as bad as him.'
Nobody makes a move to help.
The victim screams in frustration, their fingers slipping. ‘You’ve got to be fucking joking!’ they shout as they lose their grip.
'You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.' You say as you walk away.
Welcome to the anti-sj/’real justice’ movement.
— (via princenmonster)
She’s so cute.
Black Superheroes in Comic Book Movies.
I wanted to make this to show my appreciation to black superheroes. As you can see, it’s not a lot of them in Hollywood films. But, unlike DC, I can respect Marvel for featuring several black superheroes in their comic book movies. And we are still waiting on Black Panther, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Static and many more.
(click the images to view the character names)