About three-quarters of film characters were white last year,
which was in line with annual totals over the previous five
years, according to the study, conducted by the University of
Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and
But in its evaluation of 3,932 speaking characters in 100 films
from last year, researchers determined that 5 percent of
characters on screen were Hispanics compared with 17.1 percent
of the U.S. population in 2013, according to government figures.
"Hispanics and Latinos are one of the fastest-growing groups in
the U.S.," Marc Choueiti, an author of the study, said in a
statement. "If popular films were the only way to gauge
diversity, viewers would be completely unaware of this.
Individuals from this group are almost invisible on screen."
Furthermore, the study found that Hispanic men and women were
the most sexualized group in Hollywood, with 37.5 percent of
female characters shown partially or fully naked, and 16.5
percent of males portrayed in revealing or tight clothing.
Black actors fared better, the study found, with 14.1 percent of
the speaking parts. Blacks make up 13.2 percent of the U.S.
But only five of the 107 directors credited in the movies
examined were black, the study found. Black directors, who were
all male, were also more likely to direct black actors.
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Minority-directed films, however, scored big at this year's Oscar
awards with "12 Years a Slave," a film by Steve McQueen, who became
the first black director to win the best picture honor. Mexican
director Alfonso Cuaron took home the best director award for his
outer space drama "Gravity."
The study faulted Hollywood for not changing the representation of
minorities in line with demographic changes in the United States,
where nearly half of children younger than five are not white.
"Despite the demographic changes at work in the U.S., films still
portray a homogenized picture of the world," the study said, adding
that the findings "illustrate how existing cultural stereotypes may
still govern how characters from different backgrounds are shown on
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Steve
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