underrepresentation, African America, Hollywood, Casting Director, casting, film, studio, distribution, culture, ideologies, Oscars


Communication | Film and Media Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication


Melba Velez Ortiz


Films are cultural products, which reflect the existing ideologies in a culture. In the American culture the two dominant ideologies are white normativity and patriarchy. With the Oscars right around the corner, the world is anticipating this year's nominees and winners. Hopes are high that this year the Academy Award for best actor will go to someone who is diverse. If films are reconstructions of culture, then can we really expect to see change at the Oscars? Through thorough qualitative research and interviews with industry professionals, a detailed picture of the role of casting directors in the casting process for lead roles in Hollywood has been painted. Based on the research the primary findings are first, that casting directors don't make final decisions. Second, studios have great power as financiers of content and third, distribution influences casting.