You’re Only A Movie Star If You’re Young, White, And Male


The film industry has reached a horrendous standard when it comes to its ignorant lack of diversity in casting.

And nobody cares.

When examining top-grossing films for 2014, only 28.1% of all speaking or named characters in these movies were female. That’s 2.3 Andrew Garfields in the 375th remake of Spiderman to 1 Carmen Ejogo in Selma.

The only time a man is considered a minority in the film industry is when it comes to their lack of sexualization. It’s in this category that women excel. Hooray!

Because the primary function for female characters is to be displayed as ~*~eye candy~*~.

Sexy attire, nudity, or being referred to as “dude, so totally hot lol” are three major categories of objectification that the 28.1% of female characters who actually get to speak, also get to enjoy during their onscreen time. And frighteningly, the 13-20 year old demographic is more likely to be sexualized than actresses over 40.

Which adds some distorted sense to the fact that, out of the already minuscule percentage of female leads, none of them were older than 45.

I mean, Meryl fucking Streep was cast in a SUPPORTING ROLE for Into the Woods.

Female characters are constantly being depicted as younger and more sexualized than male co-stars, and this fixation on youthfulness and physical attraction severely limits the career opportunities for actresses.

It also, frankly, minimizes the scope of storytelling capabilities. If the industry believes that women can’t be seen with a shirt on for 90 minutes, there can’t be much variety in what we’re watching.

And that would really suck if we were buying movie tickets to see the same plot play out over and over again…

Fast and Furious 7
Fast and Furious 7
Amazing Spider Man
Amazing Spider Man

The tumblr, Every Single Word Spoken, visually emphasizes the atrocity that is stereotyped nonwhite character tokenisms.

In 2014, a grand total of 17 movies did not feature one black speaking or named character. At all.

And this isn’t anything new.

White characters make up an entire 73% of the top-grossing films of 2014, and the sufficient lack of on screen prevalence for Hispanic, black, or Asian characters hasn’t noticeably changed for at least 7 years.

It also doesn’t make any sense, because despite Latinos making up 25% of frequent moviegoers, they make up less than 5% of characters in movies.

The battle goes behind the scenes too, with women making up 1.9% of the directors behind the top films of 2014, and 5.8% of black directors and 2.4% of Asian directors behind the top 700 films since 2007.

Movies will continue to skew the demographic reality of their audience if they continue to recycle stereotypes. Film characters are overwhelmingly white and male, which fails to reflect the actual population of moviegoers.

It’s absurd that this continues to be an issue today.

Outrage has recently been sparked over the newly released trailer for the movie Stonewall, which chronicles the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Ironically, the message depicted in the trailer is “ordinary people can do extraordinary things,” as a white male actor is shown throwing the first brick in the riots.

Historically, Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, is credited with throwing the first brick.

So, yeah, it makes total sense why a white male actor was cast to play her???

Only 19 out of the 4,610 speaking characters in 2014’s top 100 films were lesbian, gay, or bisexual (a grand total of 0 were transgender).

Portrayal in films needs to change. Despite there being public attention drawn to such imbalances, the prevalence of women on the screen has not significantly or noticeably increased in over 50 years. And while the films nor the filmmakers aren’t necessarily racist, the practice they contribute to certainly is. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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