17 4 / 2014
I finally processed the information on the leads for the top 250 grossing films (I’m going to do 500 in all), and I have some really, really great facts:
- Of the films, 209 starred a straight white man, or had a straight white male voice actor. This translates to 83.6% of all these films having a straight white male protagonist.
- This left only 41 films with a protagonist who was a person of colour and/or woman (no films had an LGBTQ+ protagonist). This translated to 16.4% of all the films.
- "So what? Straight white men are the majority group in America." a) no, the largest demographic group in America is actually technically straight white women, and b) not by 83.6% they fucking aren’t.
- If we look at American demographics (America is where these films are being made and mostly marketed for, after all) we find that only 31.3% of people in the USA are straight white men, while 68.7% are not.
- This means that 31.3% of the US population is recieving 83.6% of the representation, and the remaining 68.7% majority are squabbling over the remaining 16.4%. That’s unbelievably, amazingly shit.
BUT: The world isn’t split into straight white men and everyone else, so let’s break this down further. Of the 41 films left over for the rest of us:
- 10 starred a straight black man. (8 of these leads were played by Will Smith.), making up 2.5% of all the films.
- 26 starred a straight white woman, making up 10.4% of all the films.
- 2 films starred straight South Asian men, making up 0.8% of the films.
- 1 film starred an East Asian man and 1 starred a Middle Eastern man - 0.4% of the films each.
- A grand total of ONE of the 250 highest grossing films of all time stars a woman of colour. Scraping in at number 242, and made in 1995, it’s Pocahontas; which is racist as fuck and demeans the memory of a real Native American woman. Fantastic. It’ll also probably have fallen out of the top 250 by the next year, while no other films with WoC leads seem likely to replace it.
- This means that huge demographic groups are missing. 16.3% of people in the US identify as Latin@, and not a single film on this list has a Latin@ protagonist.
- Roughly 10% of the US identifies as LGBT+. None of these films has a LGBTQ+ protagonist.
- The reason that these films are so high grossing is because of the marketing they recieve. Studios are putting all of their money into films with straight white men, preventing casting of women and people of colour and just generally fucking people over; but this isn’t any necessary indication of what people are willing to see at all. It’s worth noting that the single most successful actor on that list is Will Smith. People are clearly willing to pay out money to watch Will Smith doing stuff, and studios are backing this and enabling more and more films of Will Smith (and his son) doing more and more stuff. His popularity shows fairly clearly that cinemagoers are definitely willing to watch (and probably actively demanding of, seeing as people of colour and white women are more likely to go to the cinema) men of colour in film, and the success of franchises such as Twilight and The Hunger Games shows audiences backing white women (women of colour have yet to be given a real chance). As such, we can definitively say that this is especially a problem with Hollywood, and withe the people making these films - a problem which obviously needs to change.
Tl; dr: Representation in Hollywood is really, really shit.
- Straight white men are 31.3% of the population, 83.6% of the leads. Lucky bastards.
- People of colour are 28.6% of the population, 6.4% of the leads (2.8% if you remove Will Smith, thanks Will.)
- Women are 51% of the population, 10.8% of the leads.
- There’s no intersection here. If you’re a woman of colour, an LGBTQ+ woman and/or LGBTQ+ person of colour, then you’re getting fuck all.
This is good if Americentric: I wonder what would happen if one corrected for Hollywood’s dominance of the global film industry and then compared it to the world’s diversity.
16 4 / 2014
the knowledge that your immigrant parents have a whole world of knowledge to them, that they know myths and legends that you don’t, that they know pieces of culture that you don’t, that they know a tongue that your tongue will never taste
the knowledge that your parents’ knowledge is incomplete
the knowledge that your immigrant grandparents know even more, that the things your parents know come from your grandparents, who learned from their parents, their grandparents, every piece becoming more and more fragmented as it’s passed down
until there’s you, holding onto a sliver of something magnificent, something too big for you to comprehend, something unbelievably rich and complex
there are lands your feet will never know
there are stories your heart will never hold
there are words, heavy words, fluttering words, words of every color and shape that your tongue will never utter
there is so much that you are a part of
and yet, so much that you will never grasp
the weight of that knowledge—that you have left, not of your own volition, but of your circumstances—that you can never go back, that you have lost upon your very birth—is almost unbearable
but what do I even know
I know so little
and what little I know, hurts with its incompleteness
15 4 / 2014
REBLOG IF YOU WOULD MEET THEM AT THE AIRPORT GATE AND RUN AT EACH OTHER IN SLOW MOTION, ARMS WIDE OPEN WHILE “AT LAST” PLAYS OVER THE PA SYSTEM
100% MUTUAL THOUGH (as we have witnessed)
13 4 / 2014
"When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, “Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.” That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that."
13 4 / 2014
what if “lucy” was about lucy liu casually beating up pervy white dudes instead
and the story was about an asian woman who gets justice from the white men who used and abducted her
and it was an effective commentary on white imperialism, the violent commodification of asian people and asian culture by western society, the demonization of asian people, and the continuing history of violence on unwilling asian bodies especially those of asian women by white people
and what if when a pervy white dude asks the asian woman “do you speak english” while he’s in fucking taiwan, she shoots him in the head instead
what if this movie wasn’t going to be a bunch of white imperialist nonsense masquerading as something “progressive” at the expense of faceless nameless asian bodies
I still can’t get over the fact that this movie’s starting point is the illicit use of bodies for smuggling — and then becomes all about White People Problems (ft. Bad Guy Asians)