Awesome: Using machine learning to identify gender bias in film

Posted by Matthew on May 21, 2017
Movies, News

Does it ever seem like you see fewer women in movies than men? Spoiler alert, it’s because you do.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Google.org teamed up to analyze the gender bias in film, and the results are very interesting. Basically they had computers watch the top 100 grossing movies of each of the last few years and look for women on-screen.

The main result is that women are only on-screen for and average of about 1/3 of the run time of those films, and have slightly less speaking time. This number goes down further still when you consider only he academy award winners! There’s only one genre where women are represented more than women, and that’s horror.

Perhaps the most important result though, is that films led by women make more money on average than those led by men.

I’m sure some of you are thinking “well, that’s because men are in way more movies than women”. If this is you: congratulations on explaining the fucking problem. Gender representation in film is a big deal, and if you don’t feel underrepresented I’m going to go ahead and guess you’re a man. Representation in media matters. Seeing someone who looks like you in a movie be the hero, or even just doing things that you maybe didn’t think you could, is empowering, and that’s good for everyone.

The whole study is super interesting and I encourage you to read the whole thing.

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