The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media conducted a study that compared the portrayal of white and black women in 2019 films. And here’s what they found out:
- Black women in films are more likely to work in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics than other colored and white women (14.3% versus 9.6% and 9.6%, respectively)
- Black women are more often portrayed as “smart” in films than white or other colored women (54.1% versus 44.2% and 42.6%, respectively)
- Among female characters with professions, black women (69.1%) are more likely than white (52.3%) or other colored women (50.7%) to be portrayed as hardworking
- Black women are shown almost as often as white women as leaders (41.3% vs. 43.1%)
At the same time, the researchers noted that black women performed only 3.7% of the leading roles in the top 100 grossing films of the decade, although they make up 6.5% of the total US population. But most of all the authors of the report were upset by the fact that among black actresses, only one in five has a truly dark skin tone. In their opinion, this indicates that “colorism” is still flourishing in the film industry.
Read the full study here .