Diversity in Hollywood — or the lack-thereof — is rightly a hot topic in pop culture. In fact, the current and prevalent lack of diversity in scripted sitcoms led Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero to believe she’d be fired after season one.
US Weekly Video talked to Fumero at the 2017 Bentonville Film Festival about the issue of inclusiveness in the film and television industry. She spoke about how she was sure that having two Latina women on Brooklyn Nine-Nine couldn’t last. Fumero said,
According to The Bunche Center’s fourth annual Hollywood Diversity Report for 2017, minority actors continue to win lead roles in broadcast scripted shows. In the 2014-15 season, minority actors claimed 11.5% of lead roles, which is up from the 2013-14 season in which minorities claimed 8.1% of lead roles. So not great, but at least a slight improvement.
We can thank shows like Blackish, Jane the Virgin, Empire, and Fresh Off the Boat for this rise.
But when it comes to lead roles in cable scripted shows, minorities are losing ground. The study shows that minority lead roles in cable scripted shows dropped from 16.6% in the 2013-2014 season to 15.8% in the 2014-15 season. Looking at you, HBO, Starz, and Lifetime!
And these specific stats don’t even take gender into consideration. Women in broadcast scripted lead roles are inching back up from a disappointing 35.8% in 2013-14 season.
But looking at all this uninspiring data should make us want to work harder to improve inclusiveness in Hollywood. Melissa Fumero told US Weekly that she has a lot of hope for the future of diverse actors in television. She said,
To all you up-and-coming media creators out there — it’s time to bring diversity to the big and small screen! It’s up to us!