A newly released McKinsey & Company study found that Hollywood is losing out on nearly $10 billion annually due to undervaluing and in some cases overlooking Black TV and film projects.
The study, which was released on Thursday, analyzed data on more than 2,000 films and interviewed directors, producers, agents, actors, writers, executives and other industry professionals. According to the research, Hollywood, which already makes almost $150 billion in revenue each year, has the potential to add $10 billion to that by investing more in Black-led projects.
McKinsey & Company also found that projects led by Black creatives tend to be consistently undervalued and underfunded despite evidence that they over-perform when it comes to return on investment. The study broke down the barriers that Black people face in overcoming inequality in the industry and outlined some steps that the entertainment industry can make to create change.
Black people are underrepresented in leadership roles within the industry, the analysis says, with 87 percent of TV executives and 92 percent of film executives being white. They also face a lack of representation in both on-screen and behind-the-scenes roles, with Black talent often being locked out of projects unless someone in a senior role is Black.
“The data show that films with a Black producer (only 8 percent of all US-produced films) or a Black director (6 percent of all films) are significantly more likely to have a Black writer. And if a films producer is Black, the film is far more likely to have a Black director, too,” the study states.
It offered four suggestions for creating change within Hollywood: for studios to ensure diverse representation among on-screen talent and at an executive level, an increase in accountability, funding for a wide range of Black stories and the creation of an independent advocacy organization.