It’s never enough.
From a piece in Variety actually titled “Hollywood Sexism Rules: Number of Female Protagonists Falls in 2017”:
Rey, Diana Prince, and Belle may have anchored some of the biggest box office hits of 2017, but they were the exception to the rule. Hollywood’s glass ceiling remained firmly in place as studios failed to back female-dominated movies last year, according to a new study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.
Yes, there actually is an academic entity called the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
In 2017, just 24% of protagonists in the 100 highest grossing films were women. That was a drop of five percentage points from 29% in 2016. The decline comes as a surprise given that the three most popular films last year, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Wonder Woman,” all had female lead characters. “Wonder Woman” also happened to be the first major studio comic book movie about a female superhero and boasted a female director in Patty Jenkins. Other hit movies such as “Girls Trip,” “Fifty Shades Darker,” and “The Post” also offered meaty roles for women, and Oscar pundits noted that the best actress category in 2017 was filled with more worthy candidates than the lead actor race, a sign that things were improving.
So, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film is upset because women protagonists represent 24% of the year’s 100 highest grossing films, which is not the same thing as the the percentage of all 2017 films made in which a woman is the protagonist.
Perhaps the movie-going masses (which, the last time I checked, does include females) prefer to see males in the lead.
And yet, male characters continue to dominate the films in theaters. Indeed, the study found that moviegoers were more than twice as likely to see male characters on the big screen than female ones. There’s even a gender gap when it comes to who gets to open their mouth at the multiplexes. Seventy-nine percent of the top 100-grossing films had 10 or more male characters with speaking roles. In contrast, only 32% of the most popular films featured 10 or more female characters with lines to say.
Thankfully, however, some sort of Intersectional Diversity Ratio satisfied the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film:
There was some good news when it comes to diversity. The percentages of female characters of color reached record levels in 2017 — the number of black women increased from 14% in 2016 to 16% in 2017; the number of Latinas more than doubled from 3% in 2016 to 7% in 2017, and the percentage of Asian women increased a percentage point to 7% in 2017.
So, are SJWs allowed to rest easy tonight or are they supposed to fret with continued anxiety?