Who Gets Naked On-Camera?

Photo: a24

Alas, the girl-powered Hunger Games did not single-handedly undo the gender imbalance entrenched in the United States film industry. According to the Women’s Media Center’s annual report, the absence of female directors — who were only 6 percent of directors in 2013’s top 250 films — is still reflected in women’s warped representation on-screen. In multiple studies of recent, high-grossing movies, women had less than a third of speaking parts. This also works with race. Of the 565 directors of the 500 top-grossing films of the past five years, 33 were black, and two were black women. In the movies they directed, 53 percent of speaking characters were black, compared to 10 percent in movies with non-black directors.

The imbalance affects who takes their clothes off — namely, women, very young ones and Hispanic ones. In 2012’s top 100 films, women were three times as likely as men to get naked. In the 500 top-grossing films between 2007 and 2012, about 40 percent of Hispanic female characters were partially naked, compared to 33 percent of white women, 31 percent of black women, and 16 percent of Asian women. And teen cinematic nudity is on the rise, increasing 22 percent between 2009 and 2012. In 2012’s top 100 movies, 13- to 20-year-old female characters were more likely to be partially naked than actresses 21 to 39 years old. Refine Seth MacFarlane’s boob song accordingly.