Margaret Eby
Updated February 11, 2015 8:58 am

If you thought that there were fewer women in film in 2014, it wasn’t just your imagination. A new study found that of the one hundred top grossing films in 2014, a mere twelve percent had female leads. That’s actually fewer women in movies than there were in 2013. That’s the wrong direction, Hollywood.

The study, conducted by The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, and titled “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World,” looked at more than 23,000 characters and found that diversity was seriously lacking. Women of color were poorly represented, too. Only eleven percent of female characters were black, four percent Latina and three percent Asian. “Moviegoers were almost as likely to see an other-worldly female as they were to see a Latina or Asian female character,” reports Indie Wire of the findings.

Also? A bulk of those female characters included in films weren’t exactly breaking any glass ceilings or challenging stereotypes. The report found that female characters were mostly younger than their male counterparts. (Remember when 33-year-old Andrea Riseborough was romantically paired with 63-year-old Michael Keaton in Birdman?) They were also less likely to be identified by their jobs than men, and more likely to be relegated to the role of spouse. (In the case of Taken 3 and Transformers—being said spouse was not exactly a meaty role, or a role at all.)

“The chronic underrepresentation of girls and women reveals a kind of arrested development in the mainstream film industry,” Martha Lauzen, of the CSWTF study, wrote in the report. “It is unfortunate that these beliefs continue to limit the industry’s relevance in today’s marketplace.”

Agreed. Both unfortunate and something that we need to rectify, stat. It’s not like women haven’t proved themselves as big box office draws: Last year’s Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was the highest grossing film OF THE YEAR. Hear that, movie execs?

The good news is that this coming year in film is promising for the ladies. We’ve got Tina and Amy representing in the movie Sisters, J-Law back in Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the brilliant Lupita Nyong’o in Americanah, Natalie Portman as a Western hero in Jane Got a Gun, and of course, our Pitch Perfect 2 crew. Bring it, ladies! We can’t wait to see more of you.

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