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Women Spoke Just 27% of the Words in 2016's Top Ten Movies

By Courtney Enlow | Miscellaneous | January 16, 2017 |

By Courtney Enlow | Miscellaneous | January 16, 2017 |

Well this is disheartening.

In a year female characters so outraged men on Twitter, you’d think progress was being made. I mean, we had a female-led Star Wars!

And that was the problem. We had a female-led Star Wars. As in, just the one.

2016 was a year where women were allowed to participate in male-dominated genres, to much joy from the female moviegoing audience. But one or two female characters in a movie otherwise dominated by male leads does not exactly create equality. And so, here we are.

Amber Thomas at FreeCodeCamp ran the data for the top 10 movies of the year, breaking down words spoken by all the characters and by gender. And for all the male outrage on Twitter about women taking over, not only were they morons with no real argument, they actually had no fair argument even if that argument wasn’t moronic in the first place. Because women came away with just over a quarter of all words spoken.

And the worst offender really shocked me and broke my heart.

The highest grossing films of 2016 were:

Captain America: Civil War
Finding Dory
The Jungle Book
The Secret Life of Pets
Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Suicide Squad

Some of the main takeaways Thomas discovered?

Not one of the top 10 movies of 2016 had a 50% speaking, female cast.

The closest was Finding Dory. In fact, Finding Dory and Zootopia were the only two movies where a female character had the most dialogue.

Faring the worst? Sigh.

Rogue One was the worst. Only 9% of its speaking characters were female. Of those 10 characters, 1 was a computer voice, 1 appeared on screen for no more than 5 seconds, and 1 was a CGI cameo that said 1 word.

And while we all noticed The Joker was way overmarketed for Suicide Squad, so, it would seem, was arguably the best character in the movie.

While Harley Quinn was a highly advertised character in Suicide Squad, she only spoke 42% as many words as Floyd/Deadshot (played by Will Smith). Notably, Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) spoke frequently, totaling just 222 words (16%) short of Deadshot’s word count.

Read the whole article, replete with interactive charts that are so cool you might almost forget how soul-crushing they are.