A new report has found that in 2018, more women and people of color starred in top movies than in any other year since 2007, when researchers began their study.
The report, released Tuesday by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, found that 40 of the 100 top films from last year had a woman in the starring or co-starring role, up from 32 the year before. In 2007, that number was just 20.
And people of color played a starring or co-starring role in 28 of the top 100 films in 2018, compared with 21 in 2017 and just 13 in 2007.
Gains were also made by women of color and women 45 or older. Eleven of last year’s 100 top movies starred a woman from an underrepresented ethnicity, compared with four in 2017. Similarly, 11 top films starred or co-starred a woman 45 or older, up from five a year earlier.
While the figures have yet to reflect the makeup of the United States population, they are a clear indicator that in 2018 at least, when “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” broke box office records, Hollywood studios heeded demands to bring a broader array of story lines and actors to screens, and seemingly reaped rewards from doing so.
Last year’s crop of movies “offers hope that industry members have taken action to create content that better reflects the world in which we live, and the box office seems to have rewarded them for it,” said Stacy L. Smith, director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. “This data shows us that it is possible for change to be achieved.”