NYT Writer: White Men, Shut Up!

On Friday, Johanna Barr, senior staff editor at The New York Times and former chief of HuffPost's newsdesk, gave us a prime example of white-men hating rhetoric.

Barr cited a new study from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering that argued white males dominated the silver screen, women and minorities were stereotypically portrayed, and females in general were not vital to the plot. The study also proclaimed language from women tended to be “more positive, emotional and related to family values, while the language used by male characters was more closely linked to achievement,” according to Barr.

But seemingly the most important fact, according to Barr: “And perhaps unsurprisingly, the male characters spoke far more than the female ones did, with 37,000 dialogues involving men and just 15,000 involving women.”

Is she saying white men should shut up? I guess she is:

Shrikanth Narayanan, the senior author of the study, cited unconscious biases among writers in the film industry. He said, “Understanding media’s content is one step toward understanding its impact and influence on people. These are tools. How they’re used, it’s up to the stakeholders — the creators with stories to tell.”

Barr continued:

The study was one of two released recently by U.S.C. researchers that looked at diversity in film. The other, by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, found that in 900 films released from 2007 to 2016, the percentage of speaking characters who were women never climbed above 32.8 percent. Of last year’s top 100 films, 47 had no black female characters at all, 66 had no Asian female characters and 72 had no Hispanic female characters.

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