The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative began assessing the depictions of characters with disabilities in the 100 top-grossing films of 2015. Only 2.4% of all speaking characters were shown with a disability. The following studies include information on characters with disabilities. In 2019, the Initiative released its first study on the prevalence and portrayal of mental health conditions in media.

Yearly Reports on Characters with Disabilities On-Screen in Film

2022: PDF icon Inequality in 1,600 Popular Films

  • Annual report on top-grossing film. Includes data on employment patterns of women (directors, writers, producers, composers, and casting directors) and hiring of Black, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino directors (2007-2022).

View previous reports:

Prevalence and Portrayal of Mental Health Conditions On-Screen in Film and TV

2023: Mental Health Conditions Across 300 Popular Films: A Research Update from 2016 to 2022 

  • The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has released three studies released on the portrayal of mental health conditions in storytelling, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Jay Shetty, and The David & Lura Lovell Foundation. The studies examine the prevalence and context of mental health conditions in entertainment. Using a purposefully broad definition, the prevalence of mood disorders, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, suicide, autism spectrum disorders, and other conditions was evaluated. Additionally, the elements surrounding these depictions were investigated to understand whether mental health conditions are dehumanized, stigmatized, and/or trivialized in popular media.

2022: Mental Health Conditions Across 200 Popular Films: A Research Update from 2016 to 2019

2019: Mental Health Conditions in Film and TV: Portrayals that Dehumanize and Trivialize Characters

Inclusion in Netflix Series and Films

2023: Inclusion in Netflix Series and Films: 2018–2021

  • The Initiative analyzed Netflix’s U.S. original live-action films (249) and series (297) from 2018 to 2021. The study examined on-screen inclusion across gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and disability. Behind the camera, gender and race/ethnicity of key personnel were assessed. (Full Report)