Female Protagonists in Hollywood – Thoughts on a recent study

Deadline Hollywood published an article focusing on the lack of female protagonists in Hollywood films. Dr. Martha Lauzen is the Executive Director of San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film and she recently conducted a study, inspiring Deadline’s article.

While studies or reports like this are important, it is no secret that Hollywood has struggled with providing strong female protagonists on the big and small screens alike. This leads us to ask the question: Was this study really needed to prove the lack of female voices in Hollywood?

Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay - Part 1 (photo via IMDb)
Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay – Part 1 (photo via IMDb)

According to Dr. Lauzen’s study, females made up only 12% of protagonists represented in the 100 highest-grossing films of last year. Additionally, only 29% of the major characters and 30% of all speaking roles were portrayed by females. Dr. Lauzen also found that films with a female director or screenwriter had over three times the amount of female protagonists when compared to films written and directed by men.

This study highlights the inherent issue of representation within Hollywood, but does not seem to reveal any new information surrounding the issue. If anything, Dr. Lauzen only further reveals the unfortunate misogynistic nature of the business and the amount of underrepresentation present. Whether it is gender or race, Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of diverse representation in film and television.

As previously stated, it is no secret that Hollywood struggles with representation so Dr. Lauzen’s study was not really an eye-opening revelation. However, the study was useful in proving it is still an issue and things have not improved in modern society.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think this study was necessary?

Source: Deadline Hollywood

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