An academic study revealed Tuesday that Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) are rarely starred in the lead roles of most popular Hollywood films apart from famous action star Dwayne Johnson's hit movies.
The findings showed "an epidemic of invisibility" for Asians and Pacific Islanders in movies released from 2007 to 2019, said the study from researchers at the University of Southern California's (USC) Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
They also said the underrepresentation and stereotypical portrayals may have contributed to recent incidents of racial violence and harassment against Asians in the United States.
About 7.1% of the U.S. population identifies as API. In the 1,300 top-grossing films during the study period, 3.4% of leads or co-leads were played by API actors, the researchers found.
Of 44 films with API actors in leading roles, 14 of them starred Johnson, the former wrestler known for the "Fast & Furious" and "Jumanji" films. Johnson's mother is from the Pacific island of American Samoa.
Six movies featured a female API character in a lead role, the study said.
The report adds to research that has found the underrepresentation of women and people of color in movies and television. In response, Hollywood studios have pledged to increase the diversity of people in front of and behind the camera. Notable recent films included the 2018 romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians" and the 2020 action film "Mulan," both with large Asian casts.
While the study found the number of API characters lacking, the researchers also criticized the way many of them were portrayed.
Som 67% of API characters were shown as "the perpetual foreigner" with a non-American accent, were hypersexualized, subject to racial slurs or fell into another stereotype, the researchers said.
"Mass media is one factor that can contribute to aggression toward this community," said USC professor Stacy L. Smith, founder and director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. "When portrayals erase, dehumanize, or otherwise demean the API community, the consequences can be dire. Without intention and intervention, the trends we observed will continue."
The study was conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative with sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen and was funded by Amazon Studios and the UTA Foundation.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.