Starz teamed with UCLA’s Center for Scholars & Storytellers to conduct a nationwide consumer survey examining consumer perceptions and demands for diverse, authentic and inclusive media representation and guess what — the girls want more diversity.

The results of the survey will be unpacked at the second #TakeTheLead “Transparency Talk” on May 18 at 11am PT/2pm ET.

Among the top findings from the “Give The People What They Want: US Audiences and Their Appetite for Multicultural Media Content” study, results indicate that diversity on screen and behind the camera are some of the top drivers of how audiences choose content.

The respondents, adults 18-54, said that having female and diverse representation behind the camera was important. In response to questions whether they felt facets important to their identity were well represented in current TV and media, the results show that women felt notably less represented compared to men, and racial minorities still feel representation is lacking, which demonstrates a need to continue improving representation on and off screen.

“For years, Starz has been focused on delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences and the results of this study confirm we are delivering exactly what consumers are looking for across the TV and media landscape,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, Starz President and CEO in a statement. “We will remain deeply committed to our existing mandate and will continue to improve our industry leading representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout our organization.”

“At the Center for Scholars & Storytellers, we recognize that true change happens when all stakeholders work together,” added Yalda T. Uhls, Founder of the Center for Scholars & Storytellers at UCLA. “That’s why we are thrilled to have an industry partner dedicated to helping us further bolster the business case for equity and inclusion.”

The “Transparency Talk” is hosted in partnership with the ACLU of Southern California. They will spill all the research  tea which includes:

  • Diversity behind the camera is important to 60.4% of respondents.
  • Having women behind the camera is important to 49.1% of respondents.
  • Cast diversity and creator diversity are two of the top drivers of how audiences choose content.

  • Less than half (35.7%) of racial/ethnic minority respondents felt well represented in current media.
  • Only 38.5% of women reported that their identity is well represented in current media content, compared to 59.7% men.

  • The majority of respondents (63.7%) reported wanting better quality content that is representative of their identities over the quantity of content.

  • 56.9% of respondents said that seeing people from different groups/backgrounds than their own represented in TV/media makes them feel more empathy toward others.

Source: Give the People What They Want: U.S. Audiences and Their Appetite for Multicultural Media Content, Center For Scholars & Storytellers

The discussion will be moderated by Melissa Goodman, Director of Advocacy/Legal Director for The ACLU of Southern California and will feature features panelists Yalda T. Uhls and Alison Hoffman, President of Domestic Networks for Starz as well as the cast of Starz’s Run the World including Amber Stevens West, Andrea Bordeaux, Bresha Webb and Corbin Reid.

Starz’s #TakeTheLead initiative, the company’s comprehensive effort to deepen its existing commitment to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. The network commissioned an inclusion study in partnership with The Center for Scholars & Storytellers, UCLA. As a result, Starz is really “Taking the Lead” with its diverse representation on screen, off screen and throughout the company. The study revealed that Starz leads the industry with 63.2% series leads who are people of color, 54.6% female showrunners and a 75% female executive team.