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Netflix Releases ‘USC Annenberg Study on Film & Series Diversity’

Read the report - the study, a commitment to accountability and the promotion of change in the industry, conducted in concert with the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, gauges the streamer’s progress in ‘Film & Series Diversity.’

Netflix has released the “USC Annenberg Study on Film & Series Diversity” and “Update on Its Fund for Creative Equity,” conducted in partnership with Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The study examines several inclusion metrics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability) in our U.S.-commissioned films and series. The streamer has committed to releasing its progress every two years through 2026 for accountability and otherwise promote and effect lasting change in the industry.

Latest Findings:

The new findings, looking at Netflix U.S. films and series from 2020-2021, show improvements year-over-year for women and people from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups:

  • Netflix achieves gender equality in leading roles: More than half (55%) of all Netflix films and series from 2018-2021 featured a girl or woman as the lead or co-lead.
  • Increased representation for people of color in leading roles: In 2020-2021, nearly half (47%) of Netflix films and series featured a lead or co-lead from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.
  • More women behind the camera: In 2021, 26.9% of directors on Netflix films were women, compared to 12.7% across top-grossing films that same year. And 38% of show creators in 2021 were women, substantially higher than 26.9% in 2018.
  • Significant strides for women of color in front of and behind the camera: Women of color increased significantly as series directors from 5.6% in 2018 to 11.8% in 2021 — with similar growth for writer and creator roles. Nearly a third of films (27.7%) and more than half of series (54.75%) in 2021 had women of color as leads/co-leads.

The results also reveal that gaps persist for some specific racial/ethnic groups, including Latinx, Middle Eastern/North African, Indigenous and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities. And there is still room to improve the representation of characters with disabilities.

Read the executive summary here and the full report here.

Watch Dr. Stacy L. Smith discuss the latest USC Annenberg Study findings:

Watch: ‘Two Years In: An Update on the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity’

Source: Netflix

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.