Is Hollywood way too white? Of course it is. I’m not really asking that.
Putting aside who runs the studios (94 percent white dudes according to the 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report), who writes the scripts (minorities underrepresented by a factor of 3 to 1), and who directs the films (only 17.8 percent of films sampled had minority directors), the film industry still has a white balance problem. In 2013, only 16.7 percent of 174 films examined featured minority leads — an underrepresentation of over
2 to 1.
But if you need a clearer view of what these numbers look like on screen, click on over to Dylan Marron’s “Every Single Word” series on YouTube. The New York-based performer (and star of one of my favorite Web series of the past year, “Whatever This Is,” has posted a series of clips that isolate all dialogue spoken by people of color in a string of recent Hollywood hits. And like the films Marron cuts down to size (“Friends With Benefits,” “American Hustle,” “Enough Said,” and, most damningly, “Noah” among them), his edits leave out quite a lot.
It’s a clever, clarifying confirmation of a reality that makes itself easy to miss: When it comes to the big screen, too many of us are left out of the picture.
MICHAEL ANDOR BRODEUR