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Checking in on Hollywood's diversity gap

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Ava DuVernay arrives at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Ava DuVernay arrives at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Last weekend's Golden Globes awards were heralded as a moment for diversity, but just how much progress has been made in reflecting real American audiences?

'Tis the season when those in the filmmaking business congratulate themselves.

On the heels of the Golden Globes and with Oscar nominations just a day away, the Director's Guild on Tuesday announced its nominees for the five best directors of the year. 

It may not come as a surprise that all are men, most of them white. Which raises the question: How is Hollywood faring these days when it comes to diversity?

For more on this topic, we turn to Darnell Hunt, who studies the diversity gap in Hollywood and is the director for the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. Melissa Silverstein also joins the conversation. She is the editor of the website Women and Hollywood and the co-founder of the Athena Film Festival in New York. Producer Flavio Morales, executive vice president of Big Vida Entertainment production company, also joins the discussion.

Hunt says currently, diversity is losing ground in the business, despite minimal progress or occasional bumps with high-profile films like Ava DuVernay's "Selma," or Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave."

"On the one hand, we've obviously increased the numbers of minority and women participating in the industry since, say, the 1960s. But the problem is, the increases in Hollywood haven't kept up with the increases in society overall, particularly as it relates to people of color, and the gap has actually gotten bigger between the representation of people of color in America, and audiences, and the people of color in the industry," he said.

Listen to the entire discussion by clicking "Listen Now" above.

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