23 February 2018

US Study Shows Dip in Portrayals of Female Characters On-Screen

The It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World report from The Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that in 2017, females comprised 24% of protagonists in the 100 top grossing films at the US box office. This represents a decline of 5 percentage points from 2016. Females accounted for 37% of major characters, even with the figure from 2016, and 34% of speaking (major and minor) characters, an increase of 2 percentage points from 32% in 2016. Male characters continue to dominate on the big screen. While only 32% of films featured 10 or more female characters in speaking roles last year, 79% had 10 or more male characters. Regarding race and ethnicity, the percentages of female characters of color increased in 2017. The percentage of Black females increased from 14% in 2016 to 16% in 2017. The percentage of Latinas more than doubled from 3% in 2016 to 7% in 2017, and the percentage of Asian females increased from 6% in 2016 to 7% in 2017.

Read more about the study’s findings here.