Examining  Black Representation in TV, Movies and Streaming

The end of awards season and the beginning of another not-so-traditional summer movie season provides a moment to examine the progress being made to improve racial diversity in front and behind the camera, as well as identify areas that require more focus and investment to drive racial equity.  

Since last May,  the American cultural and political landscape has experienced seismic shifts. Passion for racial justice, equality and change across our society has never been higher, and Hollywood continues to be a focal point because of its global reach, and power to shape trends and influence cultural change.  

In this latest in a series of reports focusing on diversity and inclusion in media and entertainment, MarketCast set out to understand how Black audiences are thinking and feeling about the state of representation in movies and TV, and how that compares to other audiences. To answer our key questions, we interviewed thought leaders from academia, studied millions of social media conversations, and launched a quantitative research study across demographic lines in the U.S. 

Our findings look to uncover audience appetite for more representative content, identify the characters and storylines that Black audiences are craving most, and understand what parents are seeking in diverse content for their kids. 

Additionally, we identified six thought starters that entertainment industry leaders should consider when looking to improve representation in front of and behind the camera. 

Key Themes We Wanted to Study: 

  • How does the ongoing racial and social justice movement impact attitudes and beliefs regarding representation in entertainment? 
  • What steps can the industry take to best improve Black representation in front of and behind the camera?  
  • What do Black audiences want to prioritize when it comes to representation? 
  • What are White audiences thinking and feeling about representation on-screen?  
  • How can improving racial representation in media and entertainment benefit all audiences? 

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