Skip To Content
  • bestof2016 badge

9 Ways Hollywood Needs To Do Better In 2017

It's gonna take some work.

1. Chill on the whitewashing.

2. Elevate more types of movie stars.

3. Put a moratorium on killing queer women characters.

4. Embrace more body types.

5. Stop using sexual assault as a shortcut to character development.

6. Don’t leave people with disabilities out of the conversation.

7. Do your research.

8. Balance your writing staffs.

QUEEN SUGAR writers room love! Saluting our writing team Tina, Ben, Denise, Jason, Anthony. Write on! #inclusivecrew

The Writers Guild of America’s 2016 Hollywood Writers Report was called “Renaissance in Reverse?”, and it pointed out that into 2016, writers of color “remained underrepresented by a factor of nearly 3 to 1 among television writers.” According to a study by USC Annenberg that looked at nearly 6,500 writers, “for every one female screenwriter there were 2.5 male screenwriters.” These are big divides, and they impact what we see.

The famous Bechdel test has pretty basic standards for the depiction of women in fiction: Two women with names have to talk to each other about something other than a man. When there was at least one woman on a film production team, for example, only about 17% of movies failed the test, according to research on 4,000 titles. When a film was written entirely by women, only about 6% failed. When there were no women present, about half failed.

As the demand for representation rises onscreen, it’s important to also keep our eyes peeled for what's going on behind the scenes. We saw an uptick in quietly groundbreaking portrayals of abortion on television this year, after all — and we can probably contribute a big chunk of that to the gender balance in each of those show's writers rooms.

9. Hire more inclusively in every step of the production process.

For more Best of 2016 content, click here!