Behind The Scenes

The directors and screenwriters of the top ten grossing domestic films of 2022 portray a perfect example of the lack of diversity in media industries. When taking a closer look behind the scenes of these muti-million-dollar movies, it is clear to see a pattern of gender, race/ethnicity, and nationality of the people who run the production industry. A common theme of white, male, and American is consistent throughout almost all of these movies that rank top ten across the country. Not only are these films prominent across the US but eight out of ten of the movies hold they’re rankings on the worldwide list, as well. Every director identifies as male and white except only two of them who are minorities. Almost all of the screenwriters are men except four women who are also white Americans. These statistics alone contribute to why there are so many issues involving race in the media industry. 

The limited amount of diversity in this industry addresses the fact that it allows for dominance of a one-sided perspective that is being fed into the creative labor of these films. This white, male, and American ethnic class and makeup is given the power to project what they want society to see on the big screen of a movie theater. Almost every movie from the top ten list is an action movie which is known to be the most profitable genre, one standing out in particular though, is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Being the only film on the list directed by a black person, it is given the opportunity to portray a perspective of diversity and culture that is more accurate than racial stereotypes that are used to generate profit. This racial capitalism has become a by-product of media’s profit-driven orientation which is controlled by the power and money hungry individuals. More importantly, inequalities in the media industry will not be fixed simply by increasing the number of minorities, but by improving the cultural values that are represented in film. 

When looking at the top ten directors and screenwriters, eight out of ten of the directors are white males, and therefore the “dominant elite”. The only place that women are found in this list of films are the screenwriters, being a part of just four out of the ten movies. It sad to see that the creative minds (especially of women) aren’t equally portrayed in the making of these films. Women alone are shown on screen just as much as men are, so why not of screen? This is where the sexualization of women in films becomes prominent. Without women behind the scenes making the decisions on actress’s attire, dialogue, and overall image, the portrayal of female characters is put into the hands of those who are focused on making big bucks rather than picturing women authentically.

A pattern found in these statistics alone, is the idea that they contribute to the representation of popular culture and how some groups have the access to represent themselves properly while others do not. Even when we do see minorities in high positions of the production industry such as Taika Waititi the director of Thor: Love and Thunder, it is likely that they’re creativity and input is being constrained. This is the complexity of the production process that isn’t visible to an audience through a screen but noted when looking behind the scenes. This industry is more focused on what will generate the most profit, and what will bring in the most viewers, rather than the cultural values of the media they’re producing. This is one of the many ideas that has been projected into the minds of the producers of the industry that is dominated by the elite. 

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