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This is how inclusive Netflix’s original programming really is

On the heels of its first-ever inclusion report for its workplace, Netflix is keeping that same energy by looking at how inclusive its content really is.

This is how inclusive Netflix’s original programming really is
[Photos: Greg Gayne/Netflix (Keir Gilchrist); JoJo Whilden/Netflix )Laverne Cox); Lara Solanki/Netflix (Logan Browning)]
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Last month, Netflix released its first-ever inclusion report detailing where the company stands with having a diverse and equitable workplace. Now Netflix is keeping that same energy in analyzing its original TV shows and films.

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Today, Netflix published a study conducted by the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that breaks down how Netflix’s original content from 2018 and 2019 performed across 22 inclusion indictors.

While the streamer excelled in certain areas and showed growth over the year, it’s evident that there’s still a considerable amount of ground to cover toward parity in front of and behind the camera—particularly with more representation from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.

“We’ve released this report in the interests of transparency,” said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix. “Because without this kind of information it’s very hard to judge whether we’re improving or not. And the report makes clear that while Netflix has made advances in representation year-over-year, we still have a long way to go.”

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Here’s a snapshot of some key statistics from the study:

  • 52% of all leads/co-leads (TV and film) were women and girls
  • 31.9% of all leads/co-leads (TV and film) were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups
  • 23.1% of film directors were women
  • 16.9% of film directors were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups
  • 29.8% of show creators were women
  • 12.2% of show creators were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups

In addition to the study, which Netflix has committed to releasing every two years through 2026, the streamer also announced the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, a $100 million endowment that will be distributed globally over five years in an effort to build talent pipelines for underrepresented communities.

“We are still in the early stages of a major change in storytelling, where great stories can truly come from anywhere, be created by anyone, whatever their background, and be loved everywhere,” Sarandos said. “And by better understanding how we are doing, we hope to stimulate change not just at Netflix but across our industry more broadly.”

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Read the full study here and more about the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity here.

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.

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