Paramount in Africa tackles representation and diversity

Paramount in Africa tackles representation and diversity on screen through in depth insights study

Reflecting Me: Representation On Screen Study Showcases Paramount’s Focus On Diversity Representation Insights

20 April 2022, Johannesburg– In an effort to uphold its commitment to industry and societal impact as it relates to diversity and inclusion, Paramount, is proud to be a constituent of pioneering representation and inclusion issues through the recent publication of Paramount’s Insights study, Reflecting Me: Representation on Screen.

In 2021, Paramount connected with 2.5 million kids, teens, young adults and adults, covering 73 countries globally, from the United States (US) to Australia and Sweden to South Africa (SA). This was to explore how people feel about representation on screen through the consideration of numerous features and spectrums of diversity, encompassing ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, disability, and more. For the uniquely African perspective, Paramount focused on two of Africa’s biggest social and economic hubs, South Africa and Nigeria. This was to explore perceptions of on-screen representation and diversity among consumers in the African landscape.

“Reflecting Me: Representation on Screen reflects consumer insights directly, while aiming to ensure that we have impact on the issue of diversity and representation. The study outcomes direct and shape how on-screen content should look and feel, and also shows that improvement is necessary in many aspects,” says Giuliana Dias, Director of the Research and Insights Division at Paramount.

Over 1,000 people aged 13-49 in South Africa’s nine provinces were reached. This meant connecting with real people across a diverse range of backgrounds and identities, through video interviews to hear their perspectives and experiences. Given the geographical and COVID-19 pandemic constraints, creative, immersive digital exercises were innovatively used to get to know the respondents and their worlds in more detail.

“With our affiliate channel and brands distinctively speaking to the inclusion and diversity mantra, we are truly contributing towards a positive trajectory to driving change through insights on representation. This is a game-changer for us and will allow us to elevate our content, to truly speak to each and every individual in our African markets and beyond,” adds Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Paramount.

Amongst other key insights, the study revealed that most respondents (85%) agree that the way groups and identities are portrayed in TV shows and movies influences how they are perceived in the real world. Other areas of improvement include better representation of diverse cultures (40% chose this), more diverse stories from diverse cultures (38% chose this) and educating people within the industry (35% chose this). These are all factors that were in the top 5 for South Africa specifically.

The study also revealed that 87% of the South African subjects affirm the importance of on-screen platforms offering diverse representation.

From a Nigerian perspective a majority of people agree that change is needed with 90% agreeing that there needs to be more diversity in TV shows and movies and 64% being satisfied with current levels of representation on screen, while 40% feel there needs to be more types of groups and identities represented in TV shows and movies.

“It is evident that the study tackles a socially relevant issue, a sentiment that is aligned to us at Paramount. We will certainly continue to play our part as content creators to ensure that the content that we create, ensures a deeper connection with our audiences. And we look forward to nurturing partnerships that will ensure we make this happen.” concludes Twala.

For more information on Reflecting Me: Representation on Screen, read the insightful study here: https://insights.paramount.com/post/global-audiences-want-better-representation-on-screen/

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