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VIDEO. Parity and diversity in Hollywood: software and statistics for more inclusive scenarios



“A script can be analyzed according to the representation of characters and dialogues. By gender, race, sexual orientation, disability”, explains the presentation of this software used by two Hollywood giants, Disney and NBCUniversal. With its algorithm that identifies keywords, it offers percentages and diagrams as new sources of inspiration … for more inclusive scenarios.

In Los Angeles, since the “cancel culture” (in French, “culture of erasure”) electrifies TV sets and shakes up the film industry, some studios are calling on a new kind of consultant. Shri Narayanan is not a screenwriter, but an engineer. With Madeline Di Nonno, president of a powerful feminist association in Hollywood, he has developed software that identifies the presence of women in films. Audio and video are scanned, faces are recognized by artificial intelligence.

Statistical proof of the lack of parity and diversity in major American productions

The result: nothing less than statistical proof of the lack of parity and diversity in the biggest American productions. The speaking time and appearance of women on the screen is thus around 40%. But that’s not all… “What we discovered, details Madeline Di Nonno, it is that if you have a woman and a man in a leading role, the woman is not heard in the same way as the man. It can be shot off camera, whereas for a man the camera is always on him. “

For the two partners, it is not a question of encroaching on the creativity of the authors, but only of “underline” a state of affairs. “We are only providing a tool to allow them to create opportunities, says Shri Narayanan, and think about who they chose to tell their story: can we tell them in a more inclusive way without changing the intention? “

Extract from “Cancel culture: you offend me, I am censoring you!”, A report to see in “Further investigation” June 10, 2021.

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