Overlooking the systemic racial disparities affecting the film and television business, Hollywood is investing $ 10 billion annually on the table. This is the main finding in a new report by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which first pointed to the lack of black representation in Hollywood. And, unlike many other studies, which do an excellent job of pinpointing problems without giving concrete solutions, this includes a number of steps that can help change the make-up of the industry.
The consultants examined thousands of existing research reports, including film and TV shows “Hollywood Diversity Report” Organized annually by the University of California, Los Angeles; Nielsen’s 2020 “Screening: Diverse representation and inclusion on TV”; And Annual work By Annberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California. McKinsey researchers collaborated with Blacklight Collective, a group of more than 90 black leaders who work in film and television.
McKinsey Anonymous interviews were conducted with more than 50 black and non-black industry participants, including studio executives, producers, writers, directors, and agents. The goals both reflect their experiences and identify “pain points” as they try to create content. Examples of such barriers include Black Talent “being forced to sell stories about personal trauma to elicit ideas” and white authorities ‘conservative perceptions about target audiences “are more valuable than the creators’ lived experiences. “
The study noted that Hollywood’s unique structure – including unpaid or underpaid apprenticeships, tight-knit networks, small, informal and temporary work settings, often in remote locations – contributed little to ecosystem failures. But the report consistently recognized trends that occur in large corporate settings: Black creatives are primarily responsible for providing opportunities for other Black offscreen talents; Emerging black actors have fewer opportunities in their careers and fewer gaps to make a mistake; And there is very little minority representation between top management and executive boards. The film industry, the authors conclude, is less diverse than equally homogeneous sectors such as energy and finance.
“In the same way that collective action is needed to advance racial equity in corporate American, real and lasting change in film and TV will require concrete action and the joint commitment of stakeholders in the industry ecosystem,” the study Said author Jonathan Burn. Sheldon Lynn, Noni Oniedor and Amanuel Zege.
According to the study, the average production budget for films with black leads or co-leads is a quarter lower than the budget for films that have no black makers. A creative executive, who spoke to the authors anonymously, said that while officials are “looking for black content, they are looking for wakanda or poverty, not in between.” An anonymous black actor added, “I have to do stereotypical things, because that’s what is out there, but then when I take those roles, they say I’m capable of it.”
To address these issues, McKinsey offered a number of concrete measures, urging studios, networks, streaming services, agencies, and production companies to publicly commit to a specific goal for all levels and roles And roles reflecting the American population: 13.5 percent for blacks or all people of color, 40 percent of the total. And the report encouraged those companies to expand recruitment efforts beyond New York and Los Angeles in the south, where 60 percent of the Black American labor force is concentrated, and historically in black colleges and universities.
The advisors also suggested increasing transparency and accountability with regular reporting on the racial, gender and ethnic makeup of their organizations. As reinforcement, the study states, executive bonuses should be linked to diversity goals so that companies can ensure that leaders are taken into account for progress on ethnic equality.
Another idea: Black producers behind the camera financially support a series of Black stories, with writers and directors giving 13.4 percent annual budgets to projects starring Black actors.
And finally, the writers encouraged Hollywood to create an independent organization to promote diversity – an arms-length group with vocal backers and strong partnerships with film and TV leaders.
“It would be unfair to expect black-on-off and black-talent talent to continue trying to spend countless hours on screen to rectify this vast, complex industry, time they would otherwise make the next hit series or blockbuster movie franchise Can spend in. ” The authors wrote.