black film thesis

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Black film thesis essay topics for machiavellis the prince

Black film thesis

In the first ten years of their careers, emerging Black actors get an average of six leading roles, while their white counterparts get nine Exhibit 6. Having fewer opportunities also makes it harder for these actors to make ends meet; they often go two or three years between lead roles, which means they lack the consistent income that would help them stay in the industry. This experience is all too familiar for off-screen talent as well; selling a script or getting a project off the ground to direct or produce can often take years.

Currently, they cannot. Our analysis also throws into sharp relief the creative limitations imposed on Black talent. Both on- and off-screen, Black talent is pigeonholed and funneled to race-related content, which often plays into stereotypes. Consider that films with two or more Black professionals working off-screen 6 6. Since films have an average of six people in the key above-the-line positions producers, writers, directors , we believe that a critical mass of meaningful representation requires more than one Black professional working in these roles.

This is true despite the fact that such race-related material accounts for only a third of all films, with race-agnostic titles A Star is Born , Deadpool making up the rest Exhibit 7. Being largely shut out of race-agnostic content is bad enough creatively. But it also comes with its own financial limitations. Race-agnostic films receive three times the average production budget that race-related films do. Put simply: funneling Black talent to race-specific or race-adjacent films means excluding this talent from the projects with the strongest funding.

But Black off-screen talent faces funding disparities in race-agnostic films as well. Films of any kind with two or more Black professionals in off-screen creative roles producer, writer, or director, for example receive significantly lower production budgets—more than 40 percent less than other films Exhibit 8.

The disparities are particularly notable given that these films make 10 percent more in box-office revenues per dollar invested in prints and advertising, compared with films with no or just one Black creative professional. There is also a widespread misperception in the industry that content starring Black actors will not perform well with international audiences. In , the top films with Black leads were distributed in 30 percent fewer international markets on average—yet they earned nearly the same global box-office sales as films with white leads and earned more than those films on a per-market basis.

Nearly two-thirds of the box-office earnings for the Men in Black film series came from the international box office. Fueling this issue is the lack of diversity among marketing teams, executives, and other industry decision makers. Every day, and over the course of their careers, Black professionals throughout the industry must navigate an ecosystem that is set up to cater to white talent. Black actors, for example, often have to shoulder considerable expenses for lighting, hair, and makeup when white talent is treated as the norm.

You are more willing to have more than a handful of conversations with me about this than to talk to your department head about hiring adequately. The sense of frustration from prominent Black talent is immediate and clear; many remark about the exhaustion of constantly being asked why racism exists, a question their white counterparts never have to answer. It should come as no surprise, then, that some of those same now-celebrated Black professionals on- and off-screen have lamented about how often and how close they came early in their careers to giving up their dreams in the face of so many obstacles.

Our research suggests that discrimination of this kind is commonplace and that Black women in particular face heightened challenges. As in other industries, many Black women in film and TV report having to work harder than their white, male counterparts —for less recognition.

Black professionals also lack the sponsorship necessary to support their advancement. Our latest research on race in the workplace shows that across the US private sector, less than one-third of Black employees have a sponsor. Our interviews with Black professionals show that Hollywood is no exception. In fact, by many accounts, the situation has gotten worse over the past two to three decades. But at some point, they hit a wall and ultimately left the industry.

Each was a real loss. As in other industries, many Black women in film and TV report having to work harder than their white, male counterparts—for less recognition. Black talent is often the last in and the first out: already underrepresented in the industry, Black professionals are particularly vulnerable to market shocks. As our research shows, the share of films with Black talent significantly dropped after studios cut their output of films starting in —09 and had still not fully recovered by the end of Exhibit 9.

It felt natural that Black talent was the hardest hit as studios reevaluated their slates. Increasing the amount of racial diversity and representation in film and TV is no small task. Overcoming the hidden barriers and cozy networks that still dominate the complex ecosystem will require sustained collaboration among many different organizations.

As encouraging as those moves are, however, it will likely take sweeping, industry-wide changes, perhaps spearheaded by an independent, third-party organization, to change this workplace. These changes will not take place overnight, but our research has revealed a set of four measures that we believe industry leaders can take—together—to begin to increase diversity and representation in film and TV.

Key entities such as studios, networks, streaming companies, agencies, and production companies could aspire to achieve a specific target for Black and nonwhite representation across all levels and roles—including in the boardroom, which remains predominantly white—and make those goals public to hold themselves accountable. Matching the share of the US population that is Black Industry leaders could focus on increasing representation in important decision-making and gatekeeping positions, including hiring committees.

They could also set intersectional targets, including for representation of Black women. To help meet these targets, companies should think about expanding recruiting—to state schools and historically Black colleges and universities HBCUs , for example, and beyond Los Angeles and New York. Expanding geographical access is particularly critical given that nearly 60 percent of the Black American labor force is concentrated in the South.

They should also look at the possibility of boosting and formalizing mentorship and sponsorship programs, paying interns, assistants, and early-career talent a living wage, and offering trade-school programs for so-called below-the-line production jobs crew and technicians, for example , as well as temporary fee deferrals for new guild members. The underrepresentation of Black talent is due in part to racial bias among industry decision makers and gatekeepers, and these insiders would ideally commit to changing their own beliefs and behavior.

As more Black professionals assume decision-making roles, dynamics within the industry ecosystem should improve: increasing the representation of Black talent in key off-screen roles—including producer, writer, director, and show creator—will have a multiplier effect, increasing representation among writers, directors, showrunners, and other talent. No discussion of diversity and inclusion in film and TV would be complete without also including an essential part of the ecosystem: critics, awards, and film festivals.

Industry participants should give serious thought to tracking and disseminating their progress toward racial equity to make sure it occurs. We would encourage these participants to publish intersectional reporting including data on race, ethnicity, and gender about their employees, leadership, and talent rosters more regularly and to share these reports with an external, independent organization see step four below. They should also think about adopting best practices from other industries by formalizing all performance evaluations and promotions to help limit the effects of systemic bias and reduce the hidden barriers facing Black talent.

Another important step would be to make clear to all employees including full-time but also freelance employees, who make up a significant portion of the industry and key partners such as small production houses what the inclusive behavior that is expected looks like—in a variety of work settings; companies should also consider regularly pointing to and celebrating examples of such model behavior in practice. Finally, by tying executive bonuses to diversity targets , companies can ensure that leaders are held to account for progress on racial equity.

It would seem unreasonable to expect Black talent to [keep] trying to reform this industry on their own. Demand for diverse content is on the rise, and industry leaders are competing for diverse audiences. Between and , for example, demand more than doubled for the top debut series with diverse casts those in which racial and ethnic minorities make up at least 40 percent of members.

To advance racial equity—and to tap this significant financial opportunity—industry leaders should strongly consider dedicating up-front funding to increasing diverse content and talent. Studios, for example, could start by committing They could fund initiatives across the pipeline, targeting development, production, marketing, and distribution.

Initiatives could include dedicated training and sponsorship programs including networking opportunities for diverse creators, as well as a certain number or share of pitch slots regularly reserved for underrepresented talent. These efforts would not be limited to any single, short-term campaign. Studios and producers can also focus on expanding the international distribution of films with Black talent.

It would seem unreasonable to expect Black industry professionals to continue spending countless hours trying to reform this vast, complex industry on their own, time they could otherwise be spending creating the next hit series or blockbuster movie franchise. But doing so would also be wholly insufficient to the task at hand, given the magnitude of the barriers and the need for broad-based, collective action to overcome them.

This is particularly critical in film and TV, where many Black professionals have expressed concerns about the risks of speaking up about conditions in the industry. To effect genuine, sustainable change, industry leaders should strongly consider creating a dedicated, independent advocacy organization to advance racial equity in their field—a move that has proven successful in a number of other contexts.

A well-funded, third-party organization of this nature could strengthen individual efforts by developing and scaling best practices, collecting and disseminating intersectional data, and reporting on progress across the industry. Achieving racial equity will make the film and TV sector more just and more profitable.

Equally as critical, improving racial equity should prove to be a boon for audiences. When the on-screen and off-screen representation of Black talent matches the share of Black Americans and when the industry succeeds in dismantling the ubiquitous workplace barriers preventing Black creators from telling a range of stories, viewers of all races will gain access to the many different products of Black creative expression.

Ultimately, the reshaping of the film and TV ecosystem will play a role in reshaping ideas on race—and the advancement of racial equity—in America and beyond. McKinsey wishes to thank the members of the BlackLight Collective—a coalition of Black leaders, artists, and executives who work in varied capacities across the film and TV industry—whose input has helped inform this article. McKinsey also benefited from years of published research in this space by a number of academics, in particular Dr.

Darnell Hunt and Dr. Higginbotham and Dr. Yalda T. McKinsey also wishes to acknowledge the anonymous contributions of the dozens of industry professionals who shared their personal career experiences to help shape these insights. Accept Use minimal essential cookies. Black representation in film and TV: The challenges and impact of increasing diversity.

Sidebar About the research. Moreover, the career choices of African American actresses are an indication of a push for positive representation. Through identifying historical tropes of African American femininity, and through utilizing the insights of black feminist thought, this thesis will explicate the portrayals of black womanhood in contemporary film and television.

The recent film and television roles Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, two prominent African American figures in film and television today, will be case studies for this analysis. The films and television shows of Kerry Washington and Viola Davis contain moments of resurgence and moments that refute stereotypes of black femininity. Black actresses must constantly negotiate their stake in the representation of African American women and the problematic standards of mainstream studios.

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Daily Word Search. Mah Jong Quest. Subscribe Top Menu. Like this article? Comment on this Story. Last Name. First Name. Address 1. On the other hand, we have another well know director David Fincher who has had major success within the film industry. His main trademarks in films include using characters that have poor social skills and his films usually end with the villain of the movie getting.

Black Sails takes place about 20 years before Treasure Island, during a period historically called the Golden Age of Piracy. From the s to the s pirates did not only roam the caribbean islands, but also cruised up and down the coasts of North America, Africa, and Europe.

Modern day films such as Black Sails, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Blackbeard portray not necessarily the accuracy of pirate life, but do show audiences the importance of piracy and its personage, includes their defiance. She is employed at a New York ballet studio, and like many of her co-dancers, her life is consumed with dance. This is the world of the film Men in Black, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Men in Black is a sci-fi comedy about a group of enforcement agents defending and regulating aliens from invading Earth.

But if you take their costume off, Men In Black can be seen as far more than a comedy about space aliens. Under the lens of postcolonial criticism, the film reveals itself to be a veiled, political commentary on immigration. A lens is a way for. My group, the Black Roses, will cover the topic of generational horror through a live presentation that will give a general overview of what generational horror is and how it has influence different mediums, specifically film.

With a few bumps in the road, the project is well on its way to being completed and being presented effectively. We had a general idea of what we initially wanted to present to the class. Our first. A content analysis of Black women unrealistic portrayals in American films. Recently, watching the films over and going to the theatre for the most recent one. I began to write down repetitive stereotypes that was displayed.

Each film being discussed fell into the follow. Film is one of the most influential means of communication and a powerful medium of propaganda. Race and representation is central to the study of the black film actor, since the major studios continue to reflect and reinforce the stereotyps of our times.

The depiction of blacks in Hollywood movies reinforce many of the misconceptions of the white majority rather than objective reality , limiting black actors to stereotypical roles.

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Search for. Authors Subjects Titles Dates Advisors. University of Iceland. University of Akureyri. Agricultural University of Iceland. National and University Library of Iceland. Iceland University of the Arts. Share: Thesis Send to Facebook. Send as email. Degree: Bachelor's. Authors: Rebekka Matcke Consider that films with two or more Black professionals working off-screen 6 6. Since films have an average of six people in the key above-the-line positions producers, writers, directors , we believe that a critical mass of meaningful representation requires more than one Black professional working in these roles.

This is true despite the fact that such race-related material accounts for only a third of all films, with race-agnostic titles A Star is Born , Deadpool making up the rest Exhibit 7. Being largely shut out of race-agnostic content is bad enough creatively. But it also comes with its own financial limitations.

Race-agnostic films receive three times the average production budget that race-related films do. Put simply: funneling Black talent to race-specific or race-adjacent films means excluding this talent from the projects with the strongest funding.

But Black off-screen talent faces funding disparities in race-agnostic films as well. Films of any kind with two or more Black professionals in off-screen creative roles producer, writer, or director, for example receive significantly lower production budgets—more than 40 percent less than other films Exhibit 8.

The disparities are particularly notable given that these films make 10 percent more in box-office revenues per dollar invested in prints and advertising, compared with films with no or just one Black creative professional. There is also a widespread misperception in the industry that content starring Black actors will not perform well with international audiences. In , the top films with Black leads were distributed in 30 percent fewer international markets on average—yet they earned nearly the same global box-office sales as films with white leads and earned more than those films on a per-market basis.

Nearly two-thirds of the box-office earnings for the Men in Black film series came from the international box office. Fueling this issue is the lack of diversity among marketing teams, executives, and other industry decision makers. Every day, and over the course of their careers, Black professionals throughout the industry must navigate an ecosystem that is set up to cater to white talent. Black actors, for example, often have to shoulder considerable expenses for lighting, hair, and makeup when white talent is treated as the norm.

You are more willing to have more than a handful of conversations with me about this than to talk to your department head about hiring adequately. The sense of frustration from prominent Black talent is immediate and clear; many remark about the exhaustion of constantly being asked why racism exists, a question their white counterparts never have to answer. It should come as no surprise, then, that some of those same now-celebrated Black professionals on- and off-screen have lamented about how often and how close they came early in their careers to giving up their dreams in the face of so many obstacles.

Our research suggests that discrimination of this kind is commonplace and that Black women in particular face heightened challenges. As in other industries, many Black women in film and TV report having to work harder than their white, male counterparts —for less recognition. Black professionals also lack the sponsorship necessary to support their advancement.

Our latest research on race in the workplace shows that across the US private sector, less than one-third of Black employees have a sponsor. Our interviews with Black professionals show that Hollywood is no exception. In fact, by many accounts, the situation has gotten worse over the past two to three decades. But at some point, they hit a wall and ultimately left the industry. Each was a real loss.

As in other industries, many Black women in film and TV report having to work harder than their white, male counterparts—for less recognition. Black talent is often the last in and the first out: already underrepresented in the industry, Black professionals are particularly vulnerable to market shocks. As our research shows, the share of films with Black talent significantly dropped after studios cut their output of films starting in —09 and had still not fully recovered by the end of Exhibit 9.

It felt natural that Black talent was the hardest hit as studios reevaluated their slates. Increasing the amount of racial diversity and representation in film and TV is no small task. Overcoming the hidden barriers and cozy networks that still dominate the complex ecosystem will require sustained collaboration among many different organizations. As encouraging as those moves are, however, it will likely take sweeping, industry-wide changes, perhaps spearheaded by an independent, third-party organization, to change this workplace.

These changes will not take place overnight, but our research has revealed a set of four measures that we believe industry leaders can take—together—to begin to increase diversity and representation in film and TV.

Key entities such as studios, networks, streaming companies, agencies, and production companies could aspire to achieve a specific target for Black and nonwhite representation across all levels and roles—including in the boardroom, which remains predominantly white—and make those goals public to hold themselves accountable. Matching the share of the US population that is Black Industry leaders could focus on increasing representation in important decision-making and gatekeeping positions, including hiring committees.

They could also set intersectional targets, including for representation of Black women. To help meet these targets, companies should think about expanding recruiting—to state schools and historically Black colleges and universities HBCUs , for example, and beyond Los Angeles and New York. Expanding geographical access is particularly critical given that nearly 60 percent of the Black American labor force is concentrated in the South.

They should also look at the possibility of boosting and formalizing mentorship and sponsorship programs, paying interns, assistants, and early-career talent a living wage, and offering trade-school programs for so-called below-the-line production jobs crew and technicians, for example , as well as temporary fee deferrals for new guild members.

The underrepresentation of Black talent is due in part to racial bias among industry decision makers and gatekeepers, and these insiders would ideally commit to changing their own beliefs and behavior. As more Black professionals assume decision-making roles, dynamics within the industry ecosystem should improve: increasing the representation of Black talent in key off-screen roles—including producer, writer, director, and show creator—will have a multiplier effect, increasing representation among writers, directors, showrunners, and other talent.

No discussion of diversity and inclusion in film and TV would be complete without also including an essential part of the ecosystem: critics, awards, and film festivals. Industry participants should give serious thought to tracking and disseminating their progress toward racial equity to make sure it occurs.

We would encourage these participants to publish intersectional reporting including data on race, ethnicity, and gender about their employees, leadership, and talent rosters more regularly and to share these reports with an external, independent organization see step four below. They should also think about adopting best practices from other industries by formalizing all performance evaluations and promotions to help limit the effects of systemic bias and reduce the hidden barriers facing Black talent.

Another important step would be to make clear to all employees including full-time but also freelance employees, who make up a significant portion of the industry and key partners such as small production houses what the inclusive behavior that is expected looks like—in a variety of work settings; companies should also consider regularly pointing to and celebrating examples of such model behavior in practice. Finally, by tying executive bonuses to diversity targets , companies can ensure that leaders are held to account for progress on racial equity.

It would seem unreasonable to expect Black talent to [keep] trying to reform this industry on their own. Demand for diverse content is on the rise, and industry leaders are competing for diverse audiences. Between and , for example, demand more than doubled for the top debut series with diverse casts those in which racial and ethnic minorities make up at least 40 percent of members.

To advance racial equity—and to tap this significant financial opportunity—industry leaders should strongly consider dedicating up-front funding to increasing diverse content and talent. Studios, for example, could start by committing They could fund initiatives across the pipeline, targeting development, production, marketing, and distribution.

Initiatives could include dedicated training and sponsorship programs including networking opportunities for diverse creators, as well as a certain number or share of pitch slots regularly reserved for underrepresented talent. These efforts would not be limited to any single, short-term campaign. Studios and producers can also focus on expanding the international distribution of films with Black talent.

It would seem unreasonable to expect Black industry professionals to continue spending countless hours trying to reform this vast, complex industry on their own, time they could otherwise be spending creating the next hit series or blockbuster movie franchise. But doing so would also be wholly insufficient to the task at hand, given the magnitude of the barriers and the need for broad-based, collective action to overcome them. This is particularly critical in film and TV, where many Black professionals have expressed concerns about the risks of speaking up about conditions in the industry.

To effect genuine, sustainable change, industry leaders should strongly consider creating a dedicated, independent advocacy organization to advance racial equity in their field—a move that has proven successful in a number of other contexts. A well-funded, third-party organization of this nature could strengthen individual efforts by developing and scaling best practices, collecting and disseminating intersectional data, and reporting on progress across the industry.

Achieving racial equity will make the film and TV sector more just and more profitable. Equally as critical, improving racial equity should prove to be a boon for audiences. When the on-screen and off-screen representation of Black talent matches the share of Black Americans and when the industry succeeds in dismantling the ubiquitous workplace barriers preventing Black creators from telling a range of stories, viewers of all races will gain access to the many different products of Black creative expression.

Ultimately, the reshaping of the film and TV ecosystem will play a role in reshaping ideas on race—and the advancement of racial equity—in America and beyond. McKinsey wishes to thank the members of the BlackLight Collective—a coalition of Black leaders, artists, and executives who work in varied capacities across the film and TV industry—whose input has helped inform this article.

McKinsey also benefited from years of published research in this space by a number of academics, in particular Dr. Darnell Hunt and Dr. Higginbotham and Dr. Yalda T. McKinsey also wishes to acknowledge the anonymous contributions of the dozens of industry professionals who shared their personal career experiences to help shape these insights.

Accept Use minimal essential cookies. Black representation in film and TV: The challenges and impact of increasing diversity. Sidebar About the research. Sidebar The value of achieving racial equity in Hollywood. Despite some recent progress, inequity is still deeply entrenched across the film and TV ecosystem.

We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. A number of obstacles make it challenging for Black talent to get a start in film and TV. Black professionals in the industry have much less room for failure than their white counterparts do.

The films will be framed within the history of Hollywood, and then more broadly the social history of race and identity in the United States.

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Black film thesis However, out of all showrunners, only 5 percent are Black. Accept Use minimal essential cookies. Stacy L. It will likely take sweeping, industry-wide changes to increase representation of Black talent in film and TV. Black professionals in the industry have much less room for failure than their white counterparts do.

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