When the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed to nominate a single non-white actor this year, the decision was roundly criticized. But the whiteout at the Academy Awards is reflective of a larger issue: that Hollywood remains overwhelmingly white in its casting decisions.
Looking at the actors in the top 100 U.S. grossing films released this past year that discrepancy becomes very clear. In the visualization below, we considered the three top-billed stars of each film as listed by IMDb. Of those 300 actors, 158 were white men (53%), 94 were white women (31%), 35 were non-white men (12%) and only 13 were non-white women (4%).
What about the movies that critics praised? The top 100 movies from 2015 ranked by Rotten Tomatoes, minus documentaries and foreign-language films, works out to 57 movies. Of the 171 stars of those movies, 75 were white men (44%), 65 were white women (38%), 24 were non-white men (14%) and 7 were non-white women (4%).