Report claims that 96 percent of franchise's main creative leads have been white men
Star Wars has been hit with a backlash following a report claiming that 96 percent of its universe writers and directors have been white men.
It was announced this week that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss have been given the green light to write and produce a brand new series of Star Wars movies.
Following the news, Variety‘s Maureen Ryan calculated that in 41 years, and over released or planned 17 theatrical films, 24 people were hired to direct, write or be the “creative lead” on Star Wars feature films, with 23 of those being white males.
The sole exception has been Leigh Brackett, a white woman who had a screenplay credit on 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. The Variety report finds that no people of colour have held such positions on Star Wars movies.
“That’s shocking, and it has to change,” Ryan writes. “Forgive me for being blunt, but General Organa taught me to face problems head on, not politely avoid them.”
Ryan adds: “Has the Star Wars franchise made strides in the kinds of characters it showcases in its tentpole films? Absolutely. Is the whole enchilada run by a woman? Yes, I’m aware of that. But I’m not sure what’s stopping Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy from hiring any of the talented, hungry and skilled men and women of colour and white women who have Star Wars stories to tell.”
Following the report, some Star Wars fans have called on the franchise to “address its lack of inclusivity, both on and off screen”.
One tweeter wrote: “When our industry continues to hire the same type of people over and over again, we get the same kinds of stories with the same type of characters, over and over again.”
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However, others have disputed Ryan’s data analysis:
Star Wars made the announcement yesterday (February 6) that David Benioff and DB Weiss will direct a set of Star Wars movies that will be “separate from both the episodic Skywalker saga and the recently-announced trilogy being developed by Rian Johnson”.
“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said about the announcement. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”