The Academy’s New Class is 39% Female and 30% POC

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced its new class of members. The 2017 class numbers 744, which is a new record. This breaks the 2016 number of invitees at 683, which had previously held the record.

This new class might also hold the distinction of being the most diverse (so far). Of the 744 members, 39% are women and 30% are people of color (POC).

Here’s how the new class will influence the gender makeup of the Academy:

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable women invited include “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, comedian Amy Poehler, and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

POC comprise 39% of this year’s class. Here’s what that looks like with respect to the Academy’s full voting body:

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable POC invitees include Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele,” Indian actor Salman Khan, and Hong Kong actor Tony Leung.

Of course, there’s a lot of intersectionality happening for women of color (WOC). Prominent WOC in this year’s Academy class include Priyanka Chopra, Sanaa Lathan, and Nazanin Boniadi.

The Academy’s new class is part of an effort to increase the numbers of women and POC members by 2020.

Hopefully the new influx of fresh faces and perspectives will allow more diverse and inclusive narratives to come to the forefront, and prevent another #OscarsSoWhite fiasco.

 

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Going Dark for “A Day Without A Woman”

A Day Without A Woman (Women's March on Washington)

A Day Without A Woman (Women’s March on Washington)

Today, I’m going dark for a cause: A Day Without A Woman.

Guidelines for the day via A Day Without A Woman:

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

This day coincides with International Women’s Day (IWD) and the International Women’s Strike (IWS). The day will also spotlight all the financial power women possess:

The idea behind a women’s general strike is that if women refuse to do all of their typical work for a day, it will force people to notice how important and under-appreciated that work is.

And that economic impact will be felt:

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and influence about 73% of all household spending.

Though I’ll be working today at my office job, I plan to show my support by wearing red, reading feminist literature (currently deciding between “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie and “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay), and masturbating.

See you on March 9th!

School Districts Shutting Down For “A Day Without A Woman”

1950s female teacher (Masterfile)

1950s female teacher (Masterfile)

Tomorrow is A Day Without A Woman, a day to call attention to women’s economic power and labor (including the unpaid and emotional kind). Because women do have economic power: Studies show that “women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and influence about 73% of all household spending.”

One profession that is traditionally female-dominant is teaching. The National Center for Education Statistics found that for the 2011-2012 school year, female teachers comprised 76% of all public school teachers. (This gap is especially prominent in elementary schools.) These so-called “pink collar” jobs are ones where women dominate, but can be considered to be “lower” in status because of the feminine association (which is wrong, wrong, WRONG!!).

Naturally, the public school system might be hit hard tomorrow. Some school districts have already cancelled classes as a result of teachers taking the day off to strike. The Alexandria, Virginia public school system reported receiving over 300 requests for the day off. Brooklyn preschool The Maple Street School and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro public school system in North Carolina (where 75% of employees are women) will also be closed. All schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, will also be closed, after 1.7K teachers and 30% of transportation staff requested the day off.

“Loving” Film Releases Interracial Emoji Couples

Love-Moji ('Glamour' en Espanol)

Love-Moji (‘Glamour’ en Espanol)

Given our current obsession with all things tech, Focus Features has found a fitting way to promote the company’s upcoming film “Loving:” custom emojis.

The Love-Mojis feature a variety of emojis of interracial couples in about every combination you could think of. So if you’re in an interracial couple, and you haven’t yet felt your coupling properly represented by the Unicode Consortium, your time has finally come!

Why is this important? Let’s start with the film itself: “Loving” follows Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia couple who got married in 1958. This wouldn’t be so remarkable except that Richard was white and Mildred was black. Their marriage happened during a time where interracial dating, much less marriage, was frowned upon, to put it lightly. Interracial marriage could bring a charge of miscegenation (race mixing, in plain terms).

The Lovings were arrested after their marriage for the crime of their relationship, and forced to leave Virginia. Once in D.C., they began legal proceedings. The Loving v. Virginia case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, which struck down said laws that were on the books of sixteen states. (All sixteen states were in the South. Shocker.)

Needless to say, this was a landmark case.

But why use emojis to promote it?

Since emojis debuted, the options for emoji couples were pretty stark. They didn’t show the breadth of real-life relationships in terms of race and also sexual preference. The new Love-Moji take this into account, and rectify the oversight.

There’s also the fact that using emojis has become a convenient visual shorthand for emotions we don’t particularly feel like typing out in words.

You can get the Love-Moji via app stores and at VoteLoving.com.

“Loving” comes out on Friday, Nov. 4th.

Trends: Latina Actress Firsts

 

Melissa Villasenor (Remezcla)

Melissa Villasenor (Remezcla)

Earlier this week, new additions to the “Saturday Night Live” cast were announced for the upcoming season. Among the three new cast members is comedian Melissa Villasenor. Villasenor’s hiring is significant because she’ll be the first Latina cast-member since “SNL” debuted 41 years ago.

How in the hell did it take Forty. One. Years?!?!?!

Villasenor’s hiring is just the latest achievement for Latinas in the entertainment industry, and she’s not the first to bust down a barrier.

Mexican actress Dolores del Rio worked in Hollywood from the 1920s until the ’40s, and achieved cross-over success with American audiences. She was the first Mexican actress to do so, and she worked with Hollywood luminaries such as Fred Astaire. (Fun fact: In the 1933 film “Flying Down to Rio,” del Rio danced with Astaire in the same film where he first paired with Ginger Rogers.)

Actress Rita Moreno overachieved with the firsts. Not only did she win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1961, but she won the same award at the Tonys in 1975. Moreno went on to be the second person ever to get the EGOT honor (that is, she won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).

Villasenor’s hiring opens the door for more diversity at “SNL,” but more Latina achievement in entertainment.

 

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Rita Moreno, 1961

Rita Moreno, 1961 (Pinterest)

Actress Rita Moreno poses with her Oscar after she was named best supporting actress at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles on April 9, 1962. She won for her roll in “West Side Story

In 1961, actress Rita Moreno won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anita in “West Side Story.” She was the first Latina actress to win that award.

Moreno didn’t stop there: In 1975, she won the Tony for Best Supporting Actress for “The Ritz.” And she was the first Latina actress to win that award as well.

Two years later, Moreno became the second person ever to achieve the EGOT: winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. She’s continued working steadily and blazing trails today.

Trends: Interracial Couples on Broadcast TV, 2010-2015, Part 2

President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) in 'Scandal' (New York Post)

President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) in ‘Scandal’ (New York Post)

Happy Friday! Ready for Part 2? (If not, catch up on all the interracial couples of broadcast TV over the past five years, and then come on back!) Here’s the fun part: seeing the data play out in graphs!

First off, here are the basic data tables. Here are the number of new shows and total shows per season per network:

New Shows and Total Shows per Season per Broadcast Network (Excel)

New Shows and Total Shows per Season per Broadcast Network (Sex & Stats)

Those look like relatively big numbers, right?

Here are the number of shows per network per season that featured interracial couples:

Number of Shows Featuring Interracial Couples per Season per Broadcast Network (Excel)

Number of Shows Featuring Interracial Couples per Season per Broadcast Network (Sex & Stats)

There are too many zeroes in that table.

And here’s how the numbers on the interracial couples translate for the percentages of new shows and total shows:

Percentage of New and Total Shows Featuring Interracial Couples per Season per Broadcast Network (Excel)

Percentage of New and Total Shows Featuring Interracial Couples per Season per Broadcast Network (Sex & Stats)

Interracial couples were never part of more than 25% of new shows, and 10% of total shows in any given season. Sad, right?

Next, I wanted to find the breakdown of interracial couplings by season, to see if any one season featured more of one coupling than for others. Here’s the table for that:

Interracial Couples Breakdown by Season, 2010-2015 (Excel)

Interracial Couples Breakdown by Season, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

And the resulting line graph:

 

Interracial Coupling Types on Broadcast TV, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

Interracial Coupling Types on Broadcast TV, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

You may be wondering what that massive spike is at 2012-2013 (I know I was). That was when “The Mindy Project” debuted on Fox, and Mindy Lahiri dating all the white guys really skewed that sample.

Other than that, you can see that the most common racial combinations depicted were white and Black/African-American, and white and Latino/a. Without the spike, I’m betting that the white/Asian combination would’ve fallen somewhere in the middle. South Asian/East Asian couples were rare, as was one coupling with a mixed-race person. (Crazy that a mixed-race person on TV didn’t come around until Tracee Ellis Ross in “Black-ish.”)

I was also curious to see how depictions of interracial couples broke down by network. Here’s that table:

Interracial Couples Breakdown by Network, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

Interracial Couples Breakdown by Network, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

And what it looks like in bar-graph form:

Number of Interracial Couples per Broadcast Network, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

Number of Interracial Couples per Broadcast Network, 2010-2015 (Sex & Stats)

ABC led the charge with White/Black couples, and Fox clearly dominated with the White/Asian combination. ABC also had the broadest range of interracial relationships depicted. CBS showed the most White/Latino couples.

Even though strides have been made in depicting interracial relationships (in quantity, at least), there’s clearly still a long way to go in getting equal representation.