To say that Hollywood is behind with inclusiveness isn’t just becoming more commonly evident—it’s a mathematical certainty.
While NPR reports that half of the US population identify as female and nearly 40% of Americans identify as being part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, the representation of them on-screen doesn’t match. According to the renowned Annenberg Foundation, only 14% of the top 100 grossing films in 2019 had a gender-balanced cast, and only 17% of all the movies released in that year (about 1,300) depicted a lead or co-lead from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
Advances in gender equality in film industry culture have been made too, especially recently.
For example, Statista reports the number of female leads in movies nearly doubled from 2011 to 2020 to near equivalence. Similarly, NPR states that women and people of color made progress in many job categories in 2020.
The established movie industry is also trying, at least outwardly, to address inclusivity issues in a serious, formal way with new representation standards. However, the chasm between the Hollywood ideal and reality is at least as vast as the one Thelma and Louise drove their car into instead of giving up to the authorities treating them unjustly.
But the improving numbers of women portrayed on screen, even as leads, mask even deeper equality in movies issues rooted in Hollywood’s patriarchal culture concerning how women are represented in the roles they play on-screen. According to the New York Film Academy (NYFA), barely 30% of women’s roles are speaking ones. Also, women are three times more likely than men to be shown in sexually revealing clothes or be shown partially nude.
Lack of racial diversity among women’s roles shows an even deeper rot, with only 10% of women in leading roles representing racial minorities.
Of course, movies aren’t just about money or even enjoyment. They can influence our lives greatly by defining normative culture—so the level of representation of women and minorities in movies must come closer to who actually makes up our societies.
Lack of inclusion extends to everyone in the film industry, even fans.
Representations of fans often don’t match what’s on the screen, considering that minority audiences accounted for the most ticket purchases for films with a theatrical release in 2020. What the wider audience is looking for doesn’t mesh with the reality on screen, either. According to NPR, films with 41-50% minority casts performed well financially, while 11% minority cast films did the worst.
For creators, the scene has been especially dismal for gender equality. According to the Annenberg Foundation, only 19% of directors, writers, and producers of 2015’s top‐grossing films were women.
The ideals of those who want to democratize the film industry quite closely parallel the ideals of those who value blockchain, specifically decentralized finance (DeFi) blockchain. DeFi is all about democracy and inclusion in the way anyone with an internet connection can participate in it. It’s also about those principles in the way its defining focus is on consensus through transaction validation. More than ever, stakeholders want transparency to see inside what and how movies are made, and DeFi is all about transparency, with all transactions and governance out in the open.
To these ideals, some innovators in the film and blockchain movie industry space, such as Film.io, aren’t just paralleling shifts in culture and society, but they’re also shifting new paradigms into the highest gear possible for all stakeholders. And they’re achieving the ideals of DeFi blockchain in the process.
While those in the established film industry try to fix a broken system, Film.io has developed a system that was never broken in the first place.
Indeed, the same stakeholder roles facing lack of inclusion that aren’t involved with blockchain film financing do find inclusion with Film.io:
The fans of films made through Film.io aren’t just objects of market research to determine if a movie should be made, which is what happens now. In fact, fans shouldn’t just be presented with what marketing samples and Hollywood execs say are the films they want to see.
With Film.io, the fans themselves greenlight what movies are made.
If fans don’t want to support a particular director or film idea, why should they? Instead, they can finally support only the ones they want to, no matter what gender, race, or ethnicity may be involved.
What’s more, the roles a fan can play with Film.io extend beyond the norm and happen all in one community-powered place, whether as an advocate, influencer, viewer, evaluator, curator, donator, reviewer, subscriber, staker—or all of them.
Moviemakers and directors no longer have to represent the highest level of inequality in movies. They can be who they are and not be subject to racist and genderist Hollywood practices. And they can have whoever they want—and whoever their fans wish to—to perform in and direct their films.
Overall, creators can make movies they know their fans will like because the fans directed them to do so. If a creator of a film on Film.io succeeds or not, it’s not due to any antiquated Hollywood hoodoo of gender- or race-related bias but rather her own merits as a filmmaker—and nothing more.
As if all that weren’t democratizing enough, Film.io’s movie crowdfunding platform provides a stellar spot for fan-creator interaction, no doubt reinforced by a more extraordinary shared experience and even economic connection as it pioneers blockchain financing of film for everyone.
With Film.io, soon it won’t be strange to see anyone take part in what you watch in ways you’ve never seen before.