Updated Mar 30, 2023 - World

Report: Streaming movies feature more diversity than cinematic releases

Data:  UCLA 2023 Hollywood Diversity Report; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: UCLA 2023 Hollywood Diversity Report; Table: Axios Visuals

The latest analysis of diversity in Hollywood found that Latinos and other people of color are more likely to write, direct and star in films made for streaming services than those first released in theaters.

The big picture: Movies that featured diverse casts outperformed those that didn't regardless of how they're released, according to the the UCLA's Hollywood Diversity Report, which was published today.

By the numbers: 83% of movie directors for the top theatrical releases last year were white, an increase from 2019, while just 1.1% were Latino, according to the report.

  • Latinos fared better in streaming films, where they made up 5% of directors and 4% of writers in 2022.
  • In theatrical releases, Latinos accounted for just 2.3% of lead roles in 2022, while in streaming their proportion was 6.1%.
  • The researchers analyzed the top 200 English-language theatrical releases and the top 100 English-language original streaming movies.

Between the lines: The study found that movies with diverse casts outperformed others.

  • The most streamed movies of 2022 — "Turning Red" and "Encanto" — star Asian and Latina characters, respectively.
  • Films that featured 31% to 40% of people of color also performed well, including "Top Gun: Maverick", "Avatar: The Way of Water" and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," according to the report.

The report also examined the representation of actors with disabilities for the first time, finding they are severely underrepresented.

  • It found just two lead actors (2.3%) in theatrical releases had physical or hearing disabilities.
  • Overall, about 26% of the population has a disability.

What they're saying: Ana-Christina Ramón, director of the entertainment and media research initiative at UCLA, tells Axios Latino that it's clear viewers are gravitating toward diverse content no matter the platform.

  • "So if you think that for the theatrical side there's no need to really increase diversity with the leads or with the directors and writers, I think that's misguided and that's not gonna give (studios) the profits that they want," Ramón adds.

Subscribe to Axios Latino to get vital news about Latinos and Latin America, delivered to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go deeper