AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
UCLA's annual "Hollywood Diversity Report" is out today. The subheading is "Old Story, New Beginning." As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, more women and people of color are working in movies and TV, but they're still getting just slivers of the pie.
ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: The study looked at TV shows from the 2016-'17 season and films released in 2017, like the horror movie "Get Out." An African-American discovers his white girlfriend's family is part of a racist cult.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GET OUT")
LIL REL HOWERY: (As Rod Williams) Why's he dressed like that?
DANIEL KALUUYA: (As Chris Washington) It's not that. It's everything. He came to the party with a white woman like 30 years older than him.
HOWERY: (As Rod Williams) Sex slave.
BLAIR: "Get Out" was one of the most profitable movies of 2017. It was nominated for four Oscars, and writer-director Jordan Peele won for original screenplay. A number of major releases recently have featured people of color in leading roles - "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman," "Crazy Rich Asians," but...
DARNELL HUNT: Those films are exceptions to the rule.
BLAIR: Darnell Hunt, who co-authored the UCLA diversity report, says while there's been a notable jump in the number of movies starring people of color, it's nowhere near 40 percent - their share of the population. Hunt says that is true in every area of filmmaking.
HUNT: What we haven't seen yet is a wholesale change in how the industry does business, how it's structured, who is in the executive suites, who's in the position to greenlight films that are likely to include new, diverse talent.
BLAIR: And yet, says Hunt, people of color matter a lot at the box office.
HUNT: Five of the top 10 films from 2017, people of color bought the majority of the tickets for five of those films.
BLAIR: Including "Wonder Woman."
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "WONDER WOMAN")
GAL GADOT: (As Diana) If no one else will defend the world, then I must.
BLAIR: In its opening weekend in the U.S., "Wonder Woman" made $103 million according to Box Office Mojo, a record for a movie directed by a woman. The report found that from 2016 to 2017, the number of female film directors nearly doubled to 12.6 percent - hardly parity, since women are half the population.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THIS IS US")
MANDY MOORE: (As Rebecca Pearson) And if you have a problem, we will fix it together.
BLAIR: That's Mandy Moore from NBC's "This Is Us." Noted for its diverse cast, it's also a top-rated show. In fact, 8 of the top 10 scripted broadcast TV shows favored by 18-to-49-year-olds had diverse casts. And this is something the UCLA report underscores, that it's good business to have a strong showing of women and people of color in your content. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.
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