Report Shows Slight Progress for Hollywood on Diversity

LOS ANGELES — For the past five years, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have hammered Hollywood with annual reports on its exclusion of women and minorities. Academics at the University of Southern California and San Diego State University have done the same. The public has weighed in with #OscarsSoWhite.

The pressure has changed the business — a tiny bit.

That is the conclusion of the fifth annual U.C.L.A. report on diversity in Hollywood’s entertainment industry, which was released on Tuesday by the university’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

“Over the five-year run of the report, areas where women and people of color saw sustained progress were rare,” Ana-Christina Ramón, an author of the study, said in an interview. “You’d think there would be better results, especially given the public pressure and the ratings and box office evidence, which clearly show that diversity sells. Audiences want it.”

The 80-page report, conducted with funding from companies like Disney and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, includes data broken into chapters that focus on areas like directors, lead actors, talent agency representation and television series creators. As with most studies, it gives a slightly outdated snapshot, examining the top 200 theatrical film releases in 2016 and 1,251 broadcast, cable and digital platform television shows from the 2015-2016 season.

Hollywood executives are likely to pounce on that lag, noting the recent success of the Disney-Marvel superhero film “Black Panther,” which has become the top-grossing film in history by a black director (Ryan Coogler) and featuring a largely black cast. Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee and starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, arrives on March 9.

According to the report, two areas that showed substantial progress were minority leads on broadcast television shows, moving to 18.7 percent, up from 5.1 percent during the 2011-2012 season; and show creators of color delivering scripted series for streaming services, which went to 15.7 percent from 6.2 percent, in large part because of the overall growth of streaming.

But more common were slight increases and even some declines. Minority film directors, for instance, saw virtually no change over the five years (to 12.6 percent from 12.2 percent) and female film writers fell to 13.8 percent from 14.1 percent.

“I do see change starting to happen, especially in television,” Ms. Ramón said. “But the entertainment industry moves slowly, and the problem is that, at this rate, parity is a very long way off.”