Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
10 July 2015

A blogger has cut down Hollywood films to include only lines spoken by non-white characters

They're not very long. 

By Media Mole

Hollywood’s lack of diversity in terms of both gender and race is nothing new. But if you had to guess how many minutes in, say, terrible Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan vehicle Wedding Crashers featured a person of colour, what would you say?

Luckily, someone on Tumblr has already done the work for you. Dylan Marron, creator of the “Every Single Word” project, has edited down Hollywood films to include only the lines spoken by non-white actors. And it turns out the results aren’t a matter of minutes, but of seconds: Wedding Crashers clocks in at 32 seconds (if you exclude Morran’s intro and titles): 

The shortest clip Marron has made so far is for Into The Woods, which contains no non-white lines at all:

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

It’s not just their brevity that makes these clips so depressing – those lines that do appear are a parade of racial stereotypes and bit parts.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up

Cult film Frances Ha contains a grand total of three non-white lines: 

Morran also creates a credit sequence for his clips. Frances Ha’s makes for particularly uncomfortable reading, as the non-white characters aren’t even named (the fourth character, “Home Friend”, has no audible lines as he appears in a group scene): 

 

And here’s “physical therapist”, the single non-white character in Black Swan: 

What a time to be alive.