A Leap of Movies

T-1 is for the purpose of setting the stage for the various leap yrs from 1972-2016. T-2 is to determine with the 4yr progression of time (for every leap yr studied) whether or not there were minorities (i.e diversity) in the chosen movies. We chose to compare Oscar winning films with Box Office winners every 4yrs from 1972 to 2016 to see if they differed.

  • Given 12 LYs starting with 1972, 8/12 of the Oscar “Best Pic” winners showed real / honest cast diversity with the primary and/or supporting actors/actresses being racially / ethnically diverse. Since 1996 (20 yrs) 5 of 6 LYrs were blessed with cast diversity.
  • Given 12 LYs we found 9 of 12 Box Office winners had substantial diversity. Given the most recent Leap Yrs (using The Force Awakens [2015] data as our surrogate 2016 Domestic Box Office champ), we found that in 5 of the last 6 leapies Domestic Box champs had casts with strong diversity

Looking at the presented info, we see that the film winning the “Best Picture” Oscar has had at least 1 minority actor in either a leading or supporting role every year since 1988. For the Oscars of 2016, 4 of the 8 “Best Picture” nominees have at least 1 minority actor suggesting a 50-50 shot at this year’s (2016), Oscar winning film to have minority representation (whether nominated or not). Last year’s Box Office champ, The Force Awakens (which we use as our 2016 surrogate), had several minority actors playing important roles. Given our selected years, both the “Best Picture” winner and the Box Office champ tended to have at least 1 minority actor. (It is interesting to note that since 1976, the top grossing film at the Box Office has never won the Best Picture Oscar during a Leap Year. We note that the last time the top Box Office film won “Best Picture” was in the common year of 2003 when Lord of the Rings: Return of the King took home both honors.)

The recent controversy surrounding the Oscars has NOT been b/c there are NO minorities in Oscar nominated films. Rather that there have been 0 minority actors nominated for Best Leading Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Leading Actress, or Best Supporting Actress for 2 years in a row. The Academy MUST solve this problem.

A “Leap of Faith” Maybe Hollywood Needs St. Bridget!

How about a little Hollywood type storytelling on behalf of Sts. Bridget & Patrick? Legend has it, that the year was 400 AD and St. Bridget was arguing aggressively with St. Patrick that women should be on equal footing with men for at least 1 day a year. After much debate St. Patrick agreed to extinguish the “double standard” of ONLY permitting a man to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage for 1 day. This “right” was established on Leap Day (Feb 29th). Today, we know it as the Sadie Hawkin’s Day tradition that “allows” women to ask for a man’s hand in marriage. The rest of the story didn’t go so well for St. Bridget b/c (as the legend continues), she asked for St. Pat’s hand and he respectfully declined. (It is also written that if a man declines the proposal he will be fined [mytro.com/leap]). It occurs to us that Hollywood’s culture reminds us of 400AD±. It’s a “good ‘ol boys” culture, a St. Pat’s culture. If you will, Sadie Hawkin’s Day is represented by the role of acting. Men and women may well be on equal footing in their roles as actors but, here AND ONLY HERE! The remaining roles of directors, producers, etc, etc, are all or mostly men. We need more St. Bridgets to “stir up” the pot and to change the cultural norms. Go get ‘em St. Bridget!! AMEN!!

We nominate St. Bridget as the patron SAINT OF HOLLYWOOD!!!




About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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