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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# colour blind
What it looks like when you cut all the white people out of Hollywood films
The resulting videos are not very long.

IF YOU’VE EVER thought that mainstream Hollywood films tend to feature mainly white cast members, you’d be right.

The scale of this is made starkly clear on the Tumblr blog Every Single Word, which is cataloguing on video every single word spoken by a person of colour in movies like Her, Black Swan, and Moonrise Kingdom.

The blog is the creation of actor (and star of Welcome to Night Vale) Dylan Marron, based in New York.

Marron has also been posting commentary on what the under-representation of people of colour in fiction means:

every single word 2 Every Single Word Every Single Word

Using edited video clips – most of which are a minute or under when knitted together – Marron shows that people of colour not only spend minimal time on screen, but they are often relegated to specific roles.

Who goes to the cinema anyway?

When it comes to the representation of people of colour in movies, a 2012 US study showed that:

Across 100 top-grossing films of 2012, only 10.8% of speaking characters are Black, 4.2% are Hispanic, 5% are Asian, and 3.6% are from other (or mixed race) ethnicities. Just over three-quarters of all speaking characters are White (76.3%).

However, this doesn’t match with the demographic of those who actually buy cinema tickets.

In 2013, the MPAA said that in the US, Caucasians ”now account for less than 50% of frequent moviegoers and are underrepresented relative to their portion of the population”.

Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnic group to go to movies, but purchased fewer tickets in 2013 compared to 2012. African Americans and “Others” purchased more tickets in 2013 than in 2012

The site has been getting a lot of attention for focusing a spotlight on Hollywood’s representation of people of colour.

Marron is even being compared to Alison Bechdel, whose ‘Bechdel test‘ is often used as a way of denoting sexism in movies.

Here are just some of Marron’s videos – the rest can be found on Tumblr.

What do you think of his work?

Dylan Marron / YouTube

Dylan Marron / YouTube

Dylan Marron / YouTube

Read: Everyone is talking about this comedy sketch tackling misogyny in Hollywood>

Read: Why is Patricia Arquette getting criticised for her Oscar speech?>

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