New York Times: More Black People Directed Top Films, Study Says

A recent article by Cara Buckley for the New York Times highlighted successful inclusion of diversity in the leading films of 2018. The January 4th article read:

A historically high number of top movies had black directors last year, according to a sweeping study, released on Friday, that examined diversity behind the scenes and in studio boardrooms.

While 2018 was a banner year for black directors — with 16 working on the top 100 films — 15 of those 16 directors were men; the one woman in that group was Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle in Time”). The overall figure was up from six black directors working on the top 100 films in 2017 and eight in 2007.

“While we do not see this finding mirrored among female or Asian directors, this offers proof that Hollywood can change when it wants to,” said Stacy L. Smith, who wrote the report with the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which released it.

This research and the article that supports it brings up the sensitive issue of gender disparity when trying to promote African American representation in the arts. The film industry successfully included black directors, but the tradeoff was a lack of women within that pool of directors.

Moving forward in one area of inclusion does not mean lagging behind in another. Black female directors must be provided equal opportunity as white and asian female directors, and the entire pool of female directors must be given the resources and funding, often devoted primarily to white men, to provide them with the opportunity of creating the top films of which they are capable of producing.

Read the full article in the New York Times.