Why do most of the Hollywood movies have at least one non-white guy?

Are there any casting guidelines for that or Just a coincidence?

  • 2
    Perhaps the recent Hollywood movies, but if you go in the past, that is not true. Mar 23, 2012 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


Well first of all I'm not sure the premise of your question is true. I can think of several movies off hand with just white actors in significant speaking roles.

If you reduce it to 'a majority of modern Hollywood movies' then your observations might be closer to the mark, but I don't think this is down to any form of explicit policy of positive discrimination.

The USA is an ethnically diverse country. Ethnicity is a difficult area to quantify, but from recent census data people who identify themselves as white form just over 70% of the population (Wikipedia), so if a movie is to represent the normal makeup of the population then it would normally have a significant number of non-white actors. The percentage of white population decreases in urban areas, where (I am guessing) a larger proportion of movies are set. I am sure the casting team take this into account, both to simply represent normality and to maximize the marketing potential of the movie.

  • I feel I may have been a bit naive in this answer - I'm sure there are guidelines that casting directors use, but I am sure the motivation is as much genuine "lets represent people as they really are in the USA today" as much as just "hitting a quota we've been given".
    – iandotkelly
    Jan 15 at 1:17
  • Being represented on the screen surely improves the reach and performance of a movie, so I am sure it pays even though some elements of society moan about it.
    – iandotkelly
    Jan 15 at 1:19

I think it dates back to the times of Mandrake the Magician.
Black people were used as assistants and later as sidekicks (referring to the jobs they actually used to get).

Gradually, they started entering mainstream roles.

  • 4
    "Negroes" is a very outdated and offensive term, please don't use it. I'm quite frankly astounded that this answer was allowed to remain untouched for nearly twelve years.
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 13 at 20:07
  • Indeed, quite surprising. I guess not too many eyes on this one over the years. Not a great answer either. It describes (maybe) how minorities started to be shown in the movies, not why they have representation today.
    – iandotkelly
    Jan 15 at 1:13

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