Weaver article: Racial bias in film preference can be overcome
The economic rationale for racial bias in film casting can be overcome by social media influence, according to a new study by associate professor Andrew Weaver.
“Crossing the color line: An examination of mediators and a social media intervention for racial bias in selective exposure to movies,” by Weaver and Jessica Frampton, BA’13, of The Ohio State University, appears in Communications Monographs.
Whitewashing, a practice in which white actors are cast to play minority or race-neutral roles, is influenced by the fear that white audiences will be less likely to watch a film starring minority actors, the authors wrote.
Weaver and Frampton conducted two experiments. The first revealed that a major reason why white moviegoers are less likely to consume films with minority casts is because they do not perceive themselves as the intended audience.
The second study found that white audiences are more likely to view films with a minority cast if the film is first recommended to them by another white person, thereby changing their perceptions of the intended audience.