Could This New ‘Bias-Detecting’ Software Solve Hollywood’s Diversity Problem?

Could This New ‘Bias-Detecting’ Software Solve Hollywood’s Diversity Problem?

Posted on March, 2020


For film and television studios looking to diversify their content, there could soon be an app for that. NBCUniversal is partnering with industry watchdogs and software engineers to pilot Spellcheck for Bias, a software that scans scripts to identify the amount of dialogue given to traditionally-underrepresented demographics. 

Provoked by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media’s “See Jane” reports that identify chronic underrepresentation of Latinx characters onscreen, Universal has partnered with the institute and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to develop a software that will assess diversity (or lack of) for them. 

“As our studio and family of filmmakers continue to make strides throughout the production process towards more inclusive storytelling for all underrepresented groups, identifying additional resources to help improve and increase Latinx portrayals onscreen is one of our top priorities,” says Universal Pictures’ president, Peter Cramer. “With this pilot, we hope to create a reference of data points for our creative partners and industry at large to use during early stages of script development.”

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