An annual review of film diversity, released by the University of Southern California, reported that black filmmakers directed 16 of the year’s top 100 films, nearly a three-fold jump from 2017, when six of the top 100 films had black directors. But of the 112 directors of the 100 top-grossing films, just four were women.
“Inclusion in the Director’s Chair,” an annual study by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, examined 1,200 films from seven of the top distribution companies in the movie industry. The researchers, led by Dr. Stacy Smith, found that while the percentage of black directors has risen since they started the study in 2007, female directors have not seen greater opportunity in that same time period.
In 2018, men outnumbered women in the director’s chair by a ratio of 22 to 1, the study reported.
The “banner year” for black directors, was due “almost solely,” the researchers said, to opportunities afforded to black men and not to their female counterparts.
“Black Panther,” the top-grossing film of 2018, was directed by Ryan Coogler, a black man.
Beyond the director’s chair, the study found that more than 70 percent of producer positions on the top 300 films from the last three years were held by white men.
The full report and takeaways can be found on the USC Annenberg website.