Guess: the only place women get to talk less than men

I bet you can’t guess where the only place is that women get to talk less than men.

Go on…bet you can’t.

Hollywood has been criticised for its lack of diversity this year, but a new study shows the issue goes beyond race.

A data study carried out by Polygraph’s Hannah Anderson and Matt Daniels found that based on dialogue, females played the lead role in just 22 per cent of movies.

Anderson and Daniels studied screenplays from 2000 films and discovered women delivered the majority of the dialogue (60 to 90 per cent) in just 166 films.

Gender parity was reached in 324 films, with men taking the lead in 1195 films.

Women occupied at least two out of the three top roles in 18 per cent of the films studied.  

That same scenario for men occurred in about 82 per cent of films.

The researchers said this was an “abysmal” statistic.

Just dreadful. Soon the movies will be unwatchable…with endless drivel and discourse instead of action and blowing things up, all of which requires no talking whatsoever.

Action was the genre that most favoured male leads, with women delivering the majority of the dialogue in just five out of the 305 screenplays examined.

Of course it favours men; we are all about action and not mindless jibber-jabber.

Drama had more films with female leads, according to the study.

Out of 815 movies in the genre, women had the majority of dialogue in 74 films, with gender parity reached in 139 movies.

The study also looked specifically at Disney movies, including Pixar films.

The results? Twenty-two of 30 Disney films gave the majority of dialogue to men.

Even films with female leads, such as Mulan, fed more dialogue to male characters.

Mushu, Mulan’s protector dragon, has 50 per cent more lines than Mulan herself.

And to add to Hollywood’s diversity issues, it seems women are being aged out of the business.

Women between 22 and 31 delivered 37 per cent of the dialogue, but by the time they were in their 30s, that dropped to 31 per cent.

Women aged between 42 and 65 had just 20 per cent of the lines and over 65s delivered 3 per cent of dialogue in the films studied.

Reminds me of the old joke about why men died before their wives.

Because they want to.

– Fairfax


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  • spanishbride

    Whatever….I don’t care. When this results in reduced ticket sales then and only then will changes be made because it is a business which is all about profit.I have no shortage of chick flicks to enjoy and Cam has plenty of plotless action movies to amuse him. I suspect that there are a lot more books written that suit women’s tastes rather than mens but no one says anything. Maybe that is because more women buy books than men? The market dictates.It is another example of first world problems yawn. I care about real feminist issues like child brides.

  • Bud

    Here is a wild idea; how about the entertainment industry forget about social justice and concentrates on producing things people would like to see and hear for a change…

  • RightofSingapore

    Another case of liberals playing “do as I say not as I do”

  • Dan

    I had a look at the polygraph website and used their filter. I can recall only two of the 12 films where there are greater than 90% female dialog. One of those was Heavenly Creatures.

    Even hard pressed to recall many out of the 173 60%+ films.

    The thing is that movies are made for audiences that generate revenue and that means action films. Give me “Men in Black” and “The Revenant” over “The Whistleblower” or “Saving Mr Banks” any day.

  • phronesis

    Clearly this is the fault of females everywhere. After all if females were not financially supporting this lack of diversity then the market would adapt. Why should men be supporting more woman in movies when woman clearly aren’t?

  • oldmanNZ

    people go to movies to escape the reality of their mudane lives.

    why in the world would people go to movies to here more mindless chatter by women.

    At work they talk and talk for hours,
    Even woman can get tired of listening to the endless chatter, I know my wife was on the phone with another woman, she fell asleep while the caller was still going, probably half hour later she realise she doozed off.

  • KatB

    Who on earth would even study this. It’s never even entered into my mind who had the most to say in a movie I’ve just watched. Well now they know, I hope they will be putting this right and making sure all dialogue is equal. Should make for some great movies of epic proportion. If they were bright enough, they’d realise it’s because women are such great actresses,they don’t need dialogue to explain the scene.

    • Hard1

      “Who on earth would even study this?” Have you not heard of Buffy Studies being taught in NZ colleges. Buffy even has a “special following among academics”. Next question is “Do we need academics at all?.” Think of the cost savings.

      • KatB

        My children need not aspire to be life saving doctors or ground breaking scientists, (the real type, not the climate change type), they just need to be vampire slayers and the world shall revere them and study them. We are truly in trouble.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Perhaps it has nothing at all to do with gender but the amount of dialogue the total level of which is lacking in a large volume of movies today.
    There seems to be a massive number of movies churned out that have greater amounts of special effects than dialog. They may well feature bevies of busty blondes but there are few words sandwiched in with the booms, bangs and atrocious noises for any gender.
    The race card was trotted out at the Oscars and now some other whinger has moved onto the gender thing. Too much time and too little to do on somebody else’s dime.

  • Hard1

    OK, so the pendulum swings and there are now more Woman in movies, sports, managing companies, fighting wars. Then, what next? Men sit round directing Women full time?.

  • Bryan

    There is a nuns place in Halswell Christchurch that has 23 hours silence a day,!!! yet they still can make a powerful statement like after the Feb 22nd quake their leader simply said this one line statement.
    “God has simply reminded us we are not in control”