Representation on screen needs to improve urgently, according to global audiences.

This was a key finding from our new research study, Reflecting Me: Global Representation on Screen. For this project, we surveyed over 15,000 people aged 13-49 in 15 countries around the world and connected with a diverse range of people in 7 countries through video interviews and immersive digital exercises. This study explores multiple aspects of diversity, encompassing race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, disability, and more.

Here’s what we learned about how audiences think representation in TV shows and movies needs to change:

Most agree that change is necessary. Globally, 79% agree that there needs to be more diversity in TV shows and movies. This rises to 83% among people who consider themselves part of an underrepresented group, 84% among People of Color and 88% among Black people. Only half are satisfied with current levels of on-screen representation.

Diversity and authenticity are equally important. Just over half (52%) globally feel that certain groups and identities need to be represented more accurately on screen, while just under half (47%) would like to see more types of groups and identities represented.

The pace of change needs to accelerate, but there is optimism about the future. When it comes to on-screen representation, 34% of people think things have improved over the last 5 years, while 19% believe things have become worse during this time. In the past year, these two figures have moved much closer — just 23% feel representation got better during this time, but 17% feel things have grown worse. However, looking only at people who currently feel poorly represented, there is a perception that on balance on-screen representation has grown worse in the last 5 years.

People do believe that representation on screen will improve with time. Overall, 47% feel things will get better in the next 5 years, while 39% predict it will stay the same and just 14% believe it will get worse. Even among those who feel poorly represented, 41% think things will improve in the next 5 years, compared to 22% who expect it will get worse.

Audiences are engaged in this topic and vocal about it. Globally, over two thirds (69%) say they have spoken to family or friends about on-screen representation in the past year. They think the TV and movie industry should improve by representing different cultures better (40%), showing more diverse stories from different cultures (38%), having more diverse casting (37%), and including fewer stereotypes of diverse groups (36%).

Click here for more blog posts from this research.