Netflix reveals the findings from its latest film and series diversity study


The report is the second release of the six-year, three-part study

Netflix has released its findings from the latest film and series diversity study.

The report is the second release of the six-year, three-part study that helps hold the Australian TV industry accountable and effect lasting change in the Australian TV industry.

This comes after Screen Australia recently shared the findings from Seeing Ourselves 2 Report, the second report that looks into diversity, equity and inclusion in Australian TV drama.

Among the key findings in the streamer’s report is that Netflix has achieved gender equality in leading roles. More than half (55%) of all Netflix films and series from 2018-2021 featured a girl or woman as the lead or co-lead.

There has been an increased representation for people of colour in leading roles. According to the report, in 2020-2021, nearly half (47%) of Netflix films and series featured a lead or co-lead from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.

It was also noted that more women are now behind the camera. In 2021, 26.9% of directors on Netflix films were women, compared to 12.7% across top-grossing films that same year. Meanwhile, 38% of show creators in 2021 were women, substantially higher than 26.9% in 2018.

Significant strides have also been made for women of colour in front of and behind the camera. The report revealed that women of colour increased significantly as series directors from 5.6% in 2018 to 11.8% in 2021 — with similar growth for writer and creator roles.

In addition, nearly a third of films (27.7%) and more than half of series (54.75%) in 2021 had women of colour as leads/co-leads.

Bridgerton season two

As part of Netflix’s continued commitment to D&I, the streamer has established the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity.

This will see $100 million (USD) invested over 5 years to create more pathways for talent from underrepresented communities across the world through partnerships with external organisations and bespoke Netflix programs. 

Grow Creative, the Australian program funded by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity is on a mission to support and prioritise diversity in front of and behind the camera.

Since launching, the program has funded Netflix Indigenous Scholarship Fund. In partnership with AFTRS, the streamer has provided $515,000AUS for a range of initiatives to elevate indigenous creatives and voices to support First Nations communities and storytellers. 

The streamer has assisted the regional crew development program in partnership with Screenworks and NSW Government. Netflix invested $500,000AUD to boost skills in the industry through training, placements, and work experience to create new pathways in the field.

It also funded the ANZ Writers Journey Lab, a five-day intensive workshop that took place in October to support scripted series for Australian writers in partnership with Australians in Film and Screen Australia.

The Production Accounting Workshop was another project funded by Grow Creative to address a specific skills shortage. In Feb/March 2023, a two-week training intensive was held in partnership with Entertainment Partners (formerly Moneypenny Services) to give an overview and how-to of the role of a production accountant.

There are also ongoing attachment programs, which began with a successful program within Heartbreak High season two. This attachment program has extended to Boy Swallows Universe, Heartbreak High Season Two and more are still to be released, with successful candidates now going on to roles within other Netflix products. 

In the year ahead, there are more plans for multiple workshops to upskill in a range of areas across post and production, locations and more, alongside its ongoing attachments program.

Heartbreak High (2022)

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