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NOT SO WONDERFUL

The number of female leads in hit Hollywood movies fell in 2017

Warner Bros.
Exception to the rule.
By Aamna Mohdin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It hasn’t been a great year for women in Hollywood.

A powerful reckoning against sexual assault put a spotlight on the industry’s endemic sexism, including pay inequality and a lack of directing opportunities. But this has yet to make the same impact on-screen as it has off it.

Women comprised just 24% of the protagonists in the 100 highest-grossing films in 2017, according to San Diego State University. That’s down from 29% the year before.

Things are a bit better among all major characters, with 37% female representation last year, unchanged from 2016. And moviegoers are hearing, not just seeing, female characters marginally more, with women comprising 34% of speaking roles in 2017, up from 32% in 2016.

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