Movies with diverse casts make more money, study finds

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Can Hollywood Solve Its Diversity Problem?

Abysmal minority hiring policies are costing Hollywood movie studios and TV networks millions of dollars.

That's the bottom line from the 2016 Hollywood Diversity Report compiled by the Bunche Center at UCLA and released Thursday morning. The news arrives just days before Sunday's Academy Awards, which have been the target of intense criticism and an "#OscarsTooWhite" Twitter campaign over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations

Movies with diverse casts make more significantly more money at the box office and TV shows with lineups that reflect the general population of the U.S. get much higher ratings, according to the study, which has been charting the relationship between the casting of minorities and box office grosses and TV ratings since 2011.

2016 Academy Award nominees:

19 PHOTOS
Academy Award nominations 2016, Oscars
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Movies with diverse casts make more money, study finds

Best Picture

The Big Short

(Photo via Paramount Pictures)

Best Picture

Bridge of Spies

(Photo via DreamWorks II Distribution Co.)

Best Picture

Brooklyn

(Photo via Fox Searchlight)

Best Picture

Mad Max: Fury Road

(Photo via Warner Bros. Pictures)

Best Picture

The Martian

(Photo via 20th Century Fox)

Best Picture

The Revenant

(Photo via Twentieth Century Fox)

Best Picture

Room

(Photo via A24 Films)

Best Picture

Spotlight

(Photo via Open Road Films)

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Best Actor

Matt Damon

(Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio

(Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Screen Actors Guild Foundation)

Best Actor

Michael Fassbender

(Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

Best Actor

Eddie Redmayne

(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Best Actress

Cate Blanchette

(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Best Actress

Brie Larson

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Best Actress

Jennifer Lawrence

(Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)

Best Actress

Charlotte Rampling

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/WireImage)

Best Actress

Saoirse Ronan

(Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

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The fact that studios are seeing the highest grosses and TV ratings from movies and programs that most closely mirror America's demographics offers some hope for change, because nothing drives decisions in Hollywood and at the major media companies more than the bottom line, according to Dr. Darnell Hunt, one of the study's authors and director of the Bunche Center.

"We've been saying it for years, but it's still true," he told TheWrap. "When it comes to minority representation in Hollywood, the most important color is green, as in money."

Blacks, Hispanics and Asians together make up 34 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 44 percent of movie tickets sold in 2014, according to the most recent report by the Motion Picture Association of America.

"If you look at the number of frequent moviegoers, which show minorities making up nearly half of them, it's clear that if you don't factor that in when you take your film to the market, you're dooming yourself," Hunt said.

Why in such a bottom line-driven industry has the trend continued?

"It is part of Hollywood's DNA to exclude people of color and women," Hunt said Thursday.

Read original story Movies With Diverse Casts Make More Money, Study Finds At TheWrap

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