“Inclusion” Was Merriam-Webster’s Most-Searched Term After the Oscars

Frances McDormand, Oscars 2018 (The Independent UK)

Frances McDormand, Oscars 2018 (The Independent UK)

Frances McDormand gave a great speech when she won the Best Actress Oscar at this year’s awards ceremony. And she closed it out with two words: “inclusion rider.”

For those who haven’t yet Googled this term, an inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contact that states that the hiring for positions on set must be inclusive. (This clause can also be called an equity rider.)

Apparently, so many people were curious about the term that it caused an interesting side effect:

Merriam-Webster 'Inclusion' Tweet, Oscars 2018 (Twitter)

Merriam-Webster ‘Inclusion’ Tweet, Oscars 2018 (Twitter)

One thing to note is that Merriam-Webster’s tweet on searches for “inclusion” got much more engagement (2.6K likes) than the company’s typical posts. (200-400+ likes). I’m glad people are interested in learning more about this concept!


Women in Entertainment: 80% of Women Directors Made Only 1 Movie Within 10 Years

Ava DuVernay directing 'A Wrinkle in Time' (Movieweb)

Ava DuVernay directing ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (Movieweb)

The entertainment industry has made it clear that it’s a man’s world. And now we have data to back it up.

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California (USC) put out a study last year through their Media, Diversity & Social Change initiative. The study, titled “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair?,” examined the gender, race and age of directors for the top-grossing 1,000 movies from 2007 to 2016.

Among the interesting findings was the revelation that 80% of women directors made just one film within the 10-year timeframe. This counted them as “one and done.” By contrast, only 54%+ men directed only one film during the same length of time.

The study also called out gender ratios: Across the 1,000 films examined, there were 1,114 directors. (The study did not define if this number was for unique – i.e. only occurring once in the list – directors or not.) The male-to-female director ratio was 24:1.

Across the 1,114 total directors, there were only 35 (!) unique female directors across the stated timeframe. (Ava DuVernay, pictured above, was one of those 35.) That’s 3% of all the directors surveyed. That’s pretty bad!!

Clearly, we have a long way to go before we achieve parity behind the camera.



By The Numbers: “Black Panther”‘s Audience Breakdown

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in 'Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in ‘Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

As you no doubt have heard by now (and if you haven’t, where are you?!), “Black Panther” is breaking records left and right: It has the second-highest box office gross in its first four days, and is the highest-grossing movie to open over President’s Day weekend (among other records).

One thing that’s happened with the release of the movie is that the audience makeup is slightly different than the usual. Here’s the breakdown!

First, let’s look at race:

Typical Superhero Movie (2016 Average):

  • African-American: 15%
  • Caucasian: 52%
  • Hispanic: 21%

“Black Panther:”

  • African-American: 37%
  • Caucasian: 35%
  • Hispanic: 18%

For those of you who need a visual:

'Black Panther' Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

‘Black Panther’ Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

Check that out!! The percentage of African-Americans seeing “Blank Panther” was more than double that of the average superhero movie.

The Typical Superhero numbers were pulled from a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Theatrical Market Statistics report from 2016. “Black Panther” numbers came from audience tracking platform comScore.


Typical Superhero Movie’s Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 60-65%
  • Female: 35-40%

“Black Panther” Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 55%
  • Female: 45%

This is big too! More women wanted to see “Black Panther” on opening weekend than the usual superhero fare. One explanation is that the movie positions many strong, dynamic female characters front and center: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

There you have it, folks: Hard data on the fact that representation matters in media. If you represent inclusivity in your movie, you’ll give a more inclusive audience. And that will translate to bigger bank.


“Black Panther” Has the Biggest President’s Day Box Office with $40.2M

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

The highly-anticipated Marvel movie “Black Panther” opened last Thursday night, and has already broken records.

“Black Panther” made $40.2M on President’s Day, making it the biggest Monday ever. The record was previously held by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2016, which made $40.1M.

“Black Panther” also made the second-most amount of money in its first four days of opening with $241.6M. The movie now holds the record for the biggest President’s Day weekend opening, “Deadpool” was the previous recordholder, making $152M in 2016. The only movie that made more within its first four days was (you guessed it) “The Force Awakens, which made $288.1M.

Among movie theater chain AMC, the movie became the highest-grossing title in the chain’s history for 80 theaters, which accounts for over 10% of the chain’s theaters. The movie opened in 661 theaters.

Worldwide, “Black Panther” made $426.6M. The movie has yet to open in China, Japan and Russia.



Jordan Peele Is the First African-American to Receive The Trifecta Oscar Nominations

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele just had the best day ever.

Oscar nominations hit yesterday, and the nominations for Peele’s movie “Get Out” put him in rarefied territory. “Get Out” received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Peele.

These honors make Peele the third filmmaker to get the trifecta of honors as a first-time director. (Yes, hard to believe, but “Get Out” was his first feature!) Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks preceded Peele in this trifecta with their respective features “Heaven Can Wait” and “Terms of Endearment.” Not only that, but Peele is the first African-American to achieve this!

Congrats Jordan! I can’t wait to see what comes next for you! Crossing my fingers that you’ll win all Oscars!!


By The Numbers: Women Making Bank

Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra,' 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cleopatra,’ 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Earlier this week, Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid TV actress currently on TV, making $20M a year. How’d she do it? She asked for it. Also, she knew her worth.

Who else has made bank while breaking the glass ceiling? Let’s take a look!

First Female Millionaire:

Madam C.J. Walker built a beauty empire and had a net worth of $600K at the time of her death. Adjusted for inflation, that’s that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

First Female Billionaire:

Lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart became a billionaire in 2000, the year after her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public.

First Black Female Billionaire:

Be honest: you thought this would be Oprah, didn’t you? So did I…until I actually googled it. No, this honor goes to Sheila Johnson. Johnson co-founded BET with her ex-husband Bob Johnson and went on to work in hospitality and real estate, and own minority stakes in three sports teams. Johnson first made the “Forbes” Billionaire List in 2000.

First Film Actress to be Paid $1M for a Role:

This would be the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor, who played the titular role in “Cleopatra” in 1963.

Highest-Paid Actress of 2017:

Emma Stone made the “Forbes” 2017 list of highest paid actors and actresses at $26M. However, she’s the highest-ranking actress at #15.




Ellen Pompeo is the Highest-Paid TV Actress at $20M a Year

Ellen Pompeo in 'Grey's Anatomy' (Today)

Ellen Pompeo in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Today)

Actress Ellen Pompeo has played the titular role in “Grey’s Anatomy” since 2004. And she’s finally making bank for it.

Pompeo is earning $575K per episode (!!), to the tune of $20M per year (!!!). She could also bring in another $6-7M with backend deals. Pompeo is now the highest-paid actress on TV.

Congrats to Ellen! May we all have the courage to go after what we’re worth!