Posted on March 15, 2022

NAACP Report Finds Hollywood’s Scarcity of Black Executives Has Created a Culture “Harming the African American Community”

David Robb, Deadline, March 9, 2022

A new report from the Hollywood Bureau of the NAACP has found that the scarcity of Black executives in Hollywood has led to a plethora of films and TV shows that “are harming the African American community,” and that the “absence of Black control of media has rendered the community vulnerable to a host of debilitating impressions, ranging from negligent disregard to deliberate degradation.”

The report, released Wednesday on the heels of last month’s NAACP Image Awards, was commissioned by the NAACP Hollywood Bureau in collaboration with Dr. Darnell Hunt, Dean of Social Sciences at UCLA, and MEE (Motivational Educational Entertainment) Productions.

The report, titled “The Black Executive: A Partial Solution to the Psycho-Social Consequences of Media Distortion,” makes the case that “Black executives play a crucial role in leading the effort to accurately depict African-Americans in Hollywood storytelling.”

In the study, Hunt found that in 2020, 91% of film studio CEOs were white and 82% were male; that 93% of studio senior management teams were white and 80% were male; and that 86% of studio unit heads were white and 59% male.

The statistics for television networks were similar, though “a little more inclusive with respect to gender.” The report found that 92% of network CEOs were white and 68% male; that 84% of network senior management teams were white and 60% male; and that 86% of network unit heads were white and 46% male.

The report also noted that there were “no Black CEOs or members of the senior management team at the major studios in early 2020, and only 3.9% of major studio unit heads were Black.”


“Media content informs and misinforms opinions about Black people, ultimately influencing perceptions and behaviors, followed by laws and policies that govern and define social circumstances with steep psycho-emotional consequences,” the report states. “The most damaging consequence of the industry’s faulty approximation of genuine Black experiences is the absorption and adoption of those characterizations as misshapen forms of self-identity, worthy of emulation.”

Black youth, the report says, are particularly vulnerable to distorted on-screen images. “Black youth culture has been co-opted by corporate America to sell products and services, while also over-indexing in the consumption of TV shows, movies and other media content. This is a key profit reservoir for Hollywood, despite African Americans having little control of the content that broadly defines them.”


“Hollywood’s casual disregard for authenticity and dimension is literally inflicting harm on the well-being of African-American communities,” Hunt said. “This must stop. Instead, media companies must dedicate themselves to a wholesome alternative – including more Black executives in green-lighting and development decisions, since their voices lend the perspective that’s all too often missing.”