Female Characters in Top Grossing Films Drop in 2017 (Study)

Females comprised 24 percent of protagonists featured in the 100 top domestic grossing films of 2017, a decline of 5 percent from 2016. While 2017 saw the release of...

Females comprised 24 percent of protagonists featured in the 100 top domestic grossing films of 2017, a decline of 5 percent from 2016.

While 2017 saw the release of female-fronted studio releases like Wonder Woman, The Last Jedi and Girls Trip, a study out Thursday has found that female representation on screen actually dropped last year. 

According to SDSU’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, females comprised 24% of protagonists featured in the 100 top domestic grossing films of 2017, a decline of 5% from 2016. 

While female representation onscreen is disproportionate to male counterparts, diversity among those women protagonist is dismal.

The vast majority of major female characters were white, at 74%, and only slight gains were made in representation among female characters of color seen on screen. The percentage of black female characters increased from 14% in 2016 to 16% in 2017, while Latinas more than doubled from 3% to 7% and Asian women increased from 6% to 7%.

Female protagonists were more likely to appear in independent features (65%) than studio features (35%), and were more likely to lead dramas and comedies (30%) than sci-fi features (4%). 

In terms of fixing onscreen female representation, the SDSU study (along with every one that has come before it) points to greater female representation behind the camera. In films with at least one woman director and/or writer, females comprised 45% of protagonists, compared to exclusively male creative teams that produced films where women made up 20% of protagonists.

 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Featured Image: The Canadian Jewish News

Inset Image: Courtesy of Warner Bros. 

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