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The Institute’s 2017 See Jane Report highlights the ongoing gender and race disparities in the top family films of 2017, emphasizing the pressing need for inclusive representation that mirrors our diverse society. Employing the revolutionary GD-IQ tool, we provide crucial insights and actionable recommendations for the industry to foster equality and boost box office success.

Using the GD-IQ tool, this report investigates the representation of race and gender in the 100 top-grossing family films of 2017. We also compare main findings across four years (2014-2017).

Key Findings

  • Male characters outnumbered female characters two to one in leading roles (59.0% compared with 26.0%), screen time (60.9% compared with 39.1%), and speaking time (63.7% compared with 36.3%).
  • Male characters spoke twice as often as female characters in top-grossing films.
  • The percentage of family films with female leads has doubled in the past four years.
  • On average, female-led family films grossed 38.1% more than male-led films. This pattern has remained stable over four years.
  • A total of 73.0% of family films featured white actors in leading roles, compared with 17.0% of films with protagonists that include a character of color.
  • On average, family films that included racially diverse co-leads earned 60.5% more than films with white protagonists.


  • Storytellers should examine character prominence and dialogue at every stage of the production process. One way to do this is by using the GD-IQ as a “spellcheck” for gender and race bias.
  • Writers should be more explicit in their character descriptions to ensure casts are representative of the larger population.
  • Studio executives should stop leaving money on the table by rejecting the myth that female leads and leads of color are not as bankable as white male leads. 
  • Studio executives should increase gender and racial diversity in their casts by hiring more diverse crews.