New Study Finds Undervaluing Of Black-Led Projects Costs Hollywood $10 Billion Annually

Well, duh!!

So now that they know, what are they going to do about it?! ~ V

Think about where the industry is failing with Latinx representation, Asian representation, women, the LGBTQ community, disability. If $10 billion annually is just the Black community, how much more are we leaving on the table?  ~ Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard

When it comes to diversity, inclusion and representation, Hollywood is far from where it needs to be, but we are seeing progress. However, there are many blind spots that have been overlooked and cracks in the foundation that are growing bigger and bigger each day. If it doesn’t fix them, the industry will have more problems than it can repair — one of them being the undervaluing of Black-led projects.

McKinsey & Company released a study about the film and TV industry that is both not that surprising but is very eye-opening when it comes to the work that needs to be done to achieve equality in front of and behind the camera. The research is the first integrated view of the data and reveals the many barriers that Black talent encounters across the film and TV-production ecosystem. It also shines a light on the economic impact of those inequities and offers solutions to bolster inclusivity.

The company analyzed data on more than 2,000 films and interviewed dozens of industry professionals, including writers, directors, producers, agents, actors, and executives, and collaborated with the BlackLight Collective, a coalition of Black executives and talent in the industry, including Franklin Leonard of The Black List.

The research found that media and entertainment make up a bedrock industry with revenues of nearly $150 billion each year. That said, Hollywood has the potential to gain an additional $10 billion in annual revenues — which amounts to nearly 7% more than its baseline — by addressing the racial inequities. Specifically, McKinsey found that Black-led projects have been consistently underfunded and undervalued even though there has been evidence that is clear as day that they outperform other properties when it comes to a return on their investment (emphasis mine ~ V).

This aligns with a report from the UCLA-based Center for Scholars and Storytellers titled “Beyond Checking A Box: A Lack of Authentically Inclusive Representation Has Costs at the Box Office” that was released in October 2020.

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