Hollywood added more roles for women and people of color in 2018: Study

PHOTO: Constance Wu in a scene from "Crazy Rich Asians."PlayWarner Bros.
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Last year saw a "record" number of Hollywood studio movies that featured leads who were either female or people of color, according to a new report by USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The critically acclaimed and super-successful "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians" were two such examples. Almost all of "Black Panther"'s cast was people of color, and it featured many strong female characters. Likewise, "Crazy Rich Asians" featured a predominantly Asian cast, with a female-driven story.

PHOTO: Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan in a scene from the movie Black Panther. Marvel Studios
Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan in a scene from the movie "Black Panther."

But it didn't stop there: 39 of the 100 highest-grossing movies in 2018 had a female in a leading or "co-leading role," reported Variety, which excerpted the report.

In 2017, that number was 33 -- and in 2007, just 20 films could boast that level of female representation. Last year also marked a 12-year high in the number of black and Asian performers having speaking roles in films.

However, the Annenberg School survey also showed Hollywood falling very short when it came to representing the LGBTQ population and those with disabilities.

"You're basically seeing the erasure of whole communities," one of the study's authors, Marc Choueiti, told Variety.

There's work to be done in other areas as well: Actresses accounted for only about one-third of speaking roles in 2018's top 100 films and were about four times as likely to wear revealing clothing compared with male counterparts. Women also were three times as likely to have a nude scene.