A new study found that just 12 percent of protagonists in the top 100 grossing films of 2014 were female. That’s a drop of three points from 2013, and four points from 2002.
“The chronic under-representation of girls and women reveals a kind of arrested development in the mainstream film industry,” said Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. “Women are not a niche audience and they are no more ‘risky’ as filmmakers than men. It is unfortunate that these beliefs continue to limit the industry’s relevance in today’s marketplace.”
When it comes to diversity, black female and Latina characters declined slightly, with 11 percent of female characters being black, 4 percent Latina and 4 percent Asian. Female characters tended to be younger than their male counterparts, and primarily were identified as wives, mothers or girlfriends.
The study looked at more than 23,000 characters in the top- grossing domestic films of 2014.