Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Demographics and the big screen.

I was on Facebook and took part in a thread. The origin of the thread was this article: Lucy: Why I'm Tired of Seeing White People on the Big Screen

Demographically, if you want a cast that "looks like America," the casting director would need to cast 77% white (including 17% Hispanic), 13% black/African American, 5% Asian, 51% female, 1.2% Jewish, 0.6% Muslim, and no more than 3% gay/lesbian.

Take a typical cop show on TV. Generally, there are 8-10 main characters: 2-4 leads and the rest major "supporting" actors. 

If you do have 10 characters, 6 should be white, 3 should be Hispanic/Black/African-American, and 1 "other" including Asian.  Additionally, gay/lesbian (or LGBT) people should account for no more than 3 out of a hundred characters on the show. No more than 1 in one hundred should be Jewish or Muslim or American Indian. 

Of the three currently running crime shows we watch: 
Castle has 5 whites, 1 Hispanic and 1 Black

NCIS has 5 whites, 1 Black, and 1 Jewish, non-American female.  

Bones has almost all whites, with 1 black. 

Classic CSI had 5-6 whites with 1 black.

In other words, the major demographic groups are more-or-less covered. 

Although, NCIS and Bones take place in Washington DC, and Castle in NYC. One would expected that the demographics of the area would skew far more minority than is represented on the shows.

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