Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

There were fewer female protagonists in 2017's top films

There were fewer female protagonists in 2017's top films

The report finds a mere 24% of the protagonists in the top 100 highest-grossing (domestic) titles of 2017 were women - a decline (A DECLINE) of five percent from 2016's already measly 29%.

Looking at other categories, women accounted for 37% of major characters - so no change from 2016 - and 34% of speaking characters, an increase of just 2 percentage points from 2016. The percentage of Latinas more than doubled to 7% up from 3%. The percentage of Asian females increased one percentage point, to 7 percent.

San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film has released its annual investigation into the gender makeup of Hollywood's top films, finding that women made up only 24 percent of the protagonists in last year's top 100 highest-grossing domestic films.

In 2017, women comprised 18% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing films. Only 32 percent of films featured 10 or more female characters, while 79 percent of films had 10 or more male characters. The study found that women protagonists are more likely to be included in independent features than studio features (65 percent compared to 35 percent).

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While the representation of people of color in Hollywood continues to be an ongoing issue, when will all ladies get the screen time they deserve?

While female representation onscreen is disproportionate to male counterparts, diversity among those women protagonist is dismal. For the protagonists in movies with at least one male director and or writer, that protagonist number was 20%.

There were some notable contrasts in the demographics of characters. Though women make up half of moviegoing audiences, studios remain unwillingly to invest in major motion pictures with females at the helm.

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