Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Chair, Department of Sociology
Director, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies
UCLA College

In mainstream media coverage of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, two academics were often quoted: Darnell Hunt and his co-author, Ana-Christina Ramon. Their “Hollywood Diversity Report” is the definitive source for facts and figures about minorities and women in the entertainment industry. A team of graduate students works with them to meticulously collect data, identifying the gender and race/ethnicity of the names, charting trends in the inclusion of women and minorities across a range of industry arenas. While actors are the face of the industry, they aren’t the only focus of the report: the gender and ethnicity of writers and directors are also analyzed, as well as agency and executive hiring. Finally, the report shows the connection between ethnically diverse casts and success in ratings or box office.

In addition to his entertainment industry research, Prof. Hunt manages several research projects on the experiences of African Americans.

Research Focus

Race, media and cultural studies, and diversity in the Hollywood entertainment industry.

Degrees

Ph. D in Sociology, UCLA, 1994
M.A. in Sociology, UCLA, 1991
M.B.A., Georgetown University, 1988
A.B. in Journalism (Public Relations), University of Southern California, 1984
Joined UCLA faculty in 2001

Selected Publications

  • Hunt, Darnell and Ana-Christina Ramon, eds. Black Los Angeles:  American Dreams and Racial Realities. NYU Press. 2010.
  • Hunt, Darnell, ed. Channeling Blackness:  Studies on Television and Race in America. Oxford University Press. 2005.

Learn More

After talking with dozens of people in the industry, we concluded that something like this [Hollywood Diversity Report] was long overdue. We found that people want to see shows that they can relate to. Shows with casts that roughly reflect the society do better.