Women in movies are more likely to be nude and less likely to speak, study says

Women in movies are more likely to be nude and less likely to speak, study says
Source: AP
Source: AP

Hollywood seems to be sending a powerful message to actresses: Be seen and not heard.

According to the Guardian, an annual study from the University of Southern California's Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative found that 30.2% of women who appeared in 2015's top films were "scantily clad" as compared to just 7.7% of men. 

What's worse, actresses were also far more likely not to speak at all. A breakdown of the of 4,370 "speaking or named characters" in 2015's blockbusters showed only 31.4% were women. 

Source: Giphy

The statistics get even bleaker when looking at other minorities in Hollywood, with "little change" in the number of black, Latino and Asian characters represented in film and only roughly 0.7% of the speaking, named characters being LGBT-identified. 

After years of actresses like Emma Watson and Melissa McCarthy speaking out about the sexist hellscape that is Hollywood, the results of this new study are of the disappointing-but-not-surprising variety. But after outcry like #OscarsSoWhite pushed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to take concrete steps toward diversity, actors and audiences are holding the industry to higher standards.

But the writing's on the wall: according to the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative, 92.5% of 2015's top films were directed by men. In 2015, Watson pointed to the lack of female directors as one of the most clear-cut ways she's experienced sexism.

Watson told the Guardian, "I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women."

Correction: Sept. 7, 2016
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the year in which the studied films were released. The study looked at films from 2015. 

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Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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