Disney is the worst studio for hiring black directors, new study shows

Ben Arnold
Diversity… Disney comes out worst in new study – Credit: AP

Disney is the worst of the ‘big seven’ major studios for hiring black directors, according to a new study.

The University of Southern California’s Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative has found that the studio employed not one black director for any of its biggest movies of the last decade.

The study took in the 100 top-grossing movies each year from 2007 to 2016, and in terms of diversity, the studio did bring in five female directors and four Asian directors in that period.

It’s soon to partially rectify the situation too, after hiring Ava DuVernay (above) for the forthcoming ‘A Wrinkle In Time’, and Ryan Coogler for ‘Black Panther’.

“When you look across the industry, no one is doing a fantastic job and no one is a top performer,” said Stacy L. Smith, the study’s co-author.

“There needs to be some sort of sea change in the hiring process. We’ve seen some minor fluctuations, but no real robust effort has been made here.”

Lionsgate scored highest in hiring black directors – for 16 of its 86 movies in the time frame – while Sony came second with 9 out of its 155.

Warner Bros, meanwhile, employed the most women in its movies – 10 out of 174 over the last decade.

But the study shows there’s still much work to be done. Of the 1000 movies released by the major studios in all over the past 10 years, 44 were made by women, 56 made by black directors and 33 by Asian directors.

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