Data Set The Maltese Falcon

Published on April 21st, 2016 | by Joshua New


Quantifying Hollywood’s Gender Bias Problem

Pop-culture data journalism website Polygraph has compiled a data set of film dialogue from 2,000 screenplays broken down by age and gender of their characters to determine if arguments about the potentially biased underrepresentation of women in Hollywood roles could be backed up by data. Rather than use the somewhat controversial Bechdel test, which examines whether or not women in a work of fiction speak to each other about any other topic than a man, Polygraph analyzed the percentage of a film’s dialogue attributed to men and women, as well as the age of the characters, and found that 75 percent of the screenplays it analyzed have substantially more lines delivered by men than women. Polygraph has published data for the films it examined and has also created a series of data visualizations to illustrate its findings

Get the data.

Image: Warner Bros

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About the Author

Joshua New is a policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life. Follow Joshua on Twitter @Josh_A_New.

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