Diversity study shows that Netflix makes headway in diversifying the film industry, though gaps remain.
Netflix outpaced the industry in hiring women and women of color to direct its films and has achieved gender equality in leading roles across its films and series, however racial and ethnic groups were underrepresented relative to the US population, according to its first-of-its-kind diversity study released on Friday.
Netflix asked USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to commission the diversity study of its movies and TV shows over a two-year period from 2018 to 2019. The report makes clear that while Netflix has made advances in representation year-over-year, we still have a long way to go. The company said in an announcement that across 22 inclusion indicators for film and series, 19 showed an improvement year-over-year.
“We are outpacing the industry in hiring women and women of color to direct our films, and women creators to bring our series to life, and we have achieved gender equality in leading roles across our films and series. We have also exceeded proportional representation of Black leads, co-leads and main cast across the two years that were examined”, Netflix announced.
The company however admits that not all racial/ethnic groups saw their representation increase during the period of the study. For example, there are still notable representation gaps, relative to the US population, in film and series for Latinx, Middle Eastern/North African, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander communities. “And we still have work to do in increasing representation of the LGBTQ community and characters with disabilities”, Netflix said.
The company will spend $100 million to improve diversity on film
The company also announced the creation of the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, which will invest $100 million over the next five years in organizations that help underrepresented communities train and find jobs in the TV and film industries. “Doing better means establishing even more opportunities for people from underrepresented communities to have their voices heard, and purposefully closing capacity and skill gaps with training programs where they are needed.”