More blacks directed top films in US, study says

NEW YORK • A historically high number of top movies had black directors last year, according to a sweeping study, released last Friday, that examined diversity behind the scenes and in studio boardrooms.

While 2018 was a banner year for black directors - with 16 working on the top 100 films - 15 of those 16 directors were men; the one woman in that group was Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle In Time).

The overall figure was up from six black directors working on the top 100 films in 2017 and eight in 2007.

Surveying the 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to last year, researchers found that just over 4 per cent had female directors, which meant that they were outnumbered by their male counterparts by a ratio of 22 to one.

And Asians represented just 3.6 per cent of last year's top 100 grossing directors, a number that changed little over 12 years, according to the study Inclusion In The Director's Chair?.

Broken down by ethnicity, Sony released the most films by black directors last year - five - while Warner Bros released none.

However, Warner Bros did release two films by Asian directors, out of a total of four Asian-directed films released by seven major entertainment companies last year.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2019, with the headline 'More blacks directed top films in US, study says'. Print Edition | Subscribe