Report: Cast Diversity Leads to Higher Ratings

The talk of diversity (or lack thereof) in television and film is a controversial topic. It comes with massive opinions and ideals of what should and needs to be done.

And it’s widely known that regardless of race, audiences want to see a representation and relatable visual of themselves on the screen — big or small.

Though we are seeing an increase of minority faces on the small screen with successful shows like Empire, black-ish, Scandal, The Have and the Have Nots and several more on the horizon this pilot season, “Hollywood is not progressing at the same rate as America is diversifying,” says Darnell Hunt.

Hunt, lead author of the second Hollywood Diversity Report conducted by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, notes that “pockets of promise” increased after 12 Years A Slave won best picture at last year’s Oscar awards. Sadly, that upbeat took a dramatic turn this award season, with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, setting back what could have been a positive forward movement.

The diversity report, released Feb.25, further demonstrates that though minorities make up nearly 40 percent of U.S. population, women and minorities are represented in drastically lesser proportions behind the camera and onscreen. In addition, it details that television is more open to diversity than film. However, both can use improvement.

The audience is not to blame. In fact they want more. According to the study, diverse casts lead to bigger engagement and prove to be a financial draw.

The blame, however is placed upon a diversity deficiency throughout networks, studios, agencies and guilds.

Will 2015 see change?

Go in-depth and get the full break-down, HERE.