The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with Women in Animation released a new report in June 2019 titled Increasing Inclusion in Animation: Investigating Opportunities, Challenges, and the Classroom to the C-Suite Pipeline. This study examines the state of inclusion for women in the animation business and is the first-ever investigation of its kind.
While this report by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the center’s founder and director, highlights the inequalities that we already knew about the entertainment industry – the historic lack of opportunities for women and people of color – it also details a wealth of data that explores the topic from several angles. It brings attention to areas where women have made significant strides within the industry and also where the industry is weakest in inclusion.
In the past 12 years, only 3% of directors for animated movies were women, and just one, Kung Fu Panda 2’s Jennifer Yuh Nelson, was a woman of color. In addition, only 17% of the 120 top-grossing animated films from 2007 to 2018 had a female lead or co-lead, and just three of those movies boasted a woman of color as its protagonist.
“The proportion of women in this leadership role in animation, and the progress made in the last decade indicates that there are spaces where the industry is taking inclusion seriously and affecting change,” said Dr. Smith. “However, only 5% of producers of animated films and 1% of live action producers were women of color. The movie industry is completely out of step with the audience in this regard.”