How “seeing ourselves” on screen could effect cultural change
The index also reflects the impact that targeted action among specific identity groups can have on these industries. Film and TV’s lead in equitable representation (61.9 score) can be attributed to the significant efforts that this industry has made through more equitable casting policies. More than half (52%) of Netflix films and series from 2018 to 2019 had females in leading roles, and 36% of all leading roles were from under-represented groups. That compares with just 28% of the 100 top-grossing films in the same period.
Representation matters, of course, but the nuance and complexity of how that representation manifests is just as important. Here, news and magazines performed best (56.9 score) in avoiding stereotypes and presenting more complex, nuanced and complete accounts of the individuals they feature.
Inclusion also requires a rethink of how accessible media is to all audiences. Gaming has performed relatively well (scoring 52.7 on societal impact versus an average of 49.0) in designing ways to enable people with disabilities to play. This includes initiatives such as accessible controllers, increasing color-blind options, or having subtitles as the default screen mode.