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The director's chair still remains overwhelmingly white and male, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative's annual Inclusion in the Director’s Chair report.

The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative stated that "out of the top grossing 100 Hollywood films, 14% were directed by black directors, 4% were directed by women, and 3% we directed Asians". This means that approximately 78% of the films were directed by white males. White male represent 31% of the US population. This is not an accurate reflection of our diverse nation”

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14% of the directors of the top 100 movies last year were black

According to the report, of the 112 directors behind the 100 top-grossing films of 2018, men accounted for 108 of them, leaving just four by women filmmakers.


The percentage of women directors has not changed over time, despite stringent calls for gender parity, and the introduction of various industry initiatives aimed at shifting historical trends, which also indicate the absence of women from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups across all positions studied. Of note, of the 1,200 top-grossing films released between 2007 and 2018, only nine were directed by women of color, with no noticeable change over time: five were directed by African American women, three by Asian women, and one by a Latina

“Women of color are nearly invisible in film production – whether as directors, producers, or in below-the-line crew positions,” Dr. Smith said of the study’s findings, which, for the first time, includes data on producers and multiple below-the-line film crew positions across 300 top movies from 2016 to 2018. “A mere 1.4% of editors, 1.5% of production designers, and 1.6% of producers were women of color. Only 1 woman of color worked as a composer across the 300 films we examined and there were no underrepresented female directors of photography.”

An important limitation to note is that the report does not include analyses of industry members of the LGBTQIA community or people with disabilities, which the authors say would require a different methodology. Although they do acknowledge that it’s work that’s absolutely crucial.


A total of 4 Asian directors (3.6%) worked across the 100 top films of 2018. All four were men (Aneesh Chaganty, Jay Chandrasekhar, Jon M. Chu, James Wan). There has been no change in the number or percentage of Asian directors over the 12-year sample time frame, with just 39 top directing jobs filled by Asian men and 3 by Asian women.

Statistics for People With Disabilities 


The Office for National Statistics has recorded that 14% of people in employment aged 16-64 consider themselves disabled, but only 0.3% of the total film workforce are disabled.


“People with disabilities account for nearly $3 billion in annual disposable income, a huge market group for advertisers that support both film and TV projects. We must make the business case for disability inclusion in the studio boardroom. There are only a select few producers and creators who truly understand this and who want to create opportunities for disabled actors to play the role of a person with a disability. But, the vast majority of those roles still go to able-bodied actors.” 


Data from


Statistics for Women in Hollywood

Women accounted for 8% of directors, down 3 percentage points from 11% in 2017. This is 1 percentage point below the 9% achieved in 1998. 

*Statistics from


On the top 100 grossing films of 2018, women represented:

  • 4% of directors

  • 15% of writers

  • 3% of cinematographers

  • 18% of producers

  • 18% of executive producers

  • 14% of editors

Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever win the Academy Award for Best Director. Only five women have ever been nominated (Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Bigelow, and Greta Gerwig)

With 2018's “Mudbound’s” Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for the Academy Award for Cinematography.


Statistics on Box Office Returns

Films with casts that were from 31-40% minority received the highest median global box office receipts, while those with majority-minority casts posted the highest median return on investment.


Median household ratings among whites, blacks, and Asian Americans peaked during the 2016-17 season for broadcast scripted shows with casts that were greater than 30% minority. Meanwhile, for viewers 18-49 and Latino households, median ratings peaked for broadcast scripted shows with casts that were from 11-20% minority.

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