#OscarsSoWhite notwithstanding, Hollywood still "the epicenter of cultural inequality" according to USC study

"Raised voices and calls for change are important, but so are practical, strategic solutions," the study concluded

Published September 8, 2016 3:44PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

A new report from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism declared that despite recent protestations against the lack of diversity in Hollywood, the industry remains "the epicenter of cultural inequality."

According to the report, of the 4,370 speaking parts in the 100 highest grossing films of 2015, only 31.4 percent of them went to women. Eighty-two of the films contained no LGBTQ characters, 49 of them featured no Asian or Asian-American characters, and 17 lacked any African-American presence whatsoever.

Stacy Smith, one of the study's authors, told Variety's Brent Lang that "[w]hile the voices calling for change have escalated in number and volume, there is little evidence that this has transformed the movies that we see and the people hired to create them. Our reports demonstrate that the problems are pervasive and systemic."

Which isn't to say that Twitter campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite have no place in the equality movement, only that such campaigns rarely accomplish anything without robust support from the larger activist community.

"Raised voices and calls for change are important, but so are practical and strategic solutions based on research," Katherine Pieper, another of the study's authors, told Variety. "The momentum created by activism needs to be matched with realistic tactics for creating change."

By Scott Eric Kaufman

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Entertainment Hollywood #oscarssowhite