A Black woman sitting next to her child on the couch smiling.


Representations of Black Women in Hollywood

This study examines representations of Black women and girls in entertainment media in 2019. Much of the existing research on race and gender in entertainment media analyzes representations of women and Black people as two distinct groups, but far less is known about the intersectional depictions of Black girls and women in Hollywood. It is important to note that the number of Black female characters in film and TV is too small to examine Black women and girls separately, so the analysis is combined throughout this report.1

The summary below presents four sets of findings: Representations of Black female leads in film; representations of Black girls and women in family films; depictions in family television; and a comparison of film and TV. Our findings are organized into positive findings and negative findings in each section to give the reader a clear sense of how Black female characters are depicted in entertainment media.

Black Female Leads in Family Films

Black Female Characters in Family Films

Positive Film Findings

Negative Film Findings

Black Female Characters in Family Television

Positive TV Findings

Negative TV Findings

Comparison of Black Female Characters in Family Films and Television

Sexualization and Objectification

Work and Leadership

Violence and Criminality

Character Traits

Relationships and Sex

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