Dr. Stacy L. Smith

Dr. Stacy L. Smith

Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D. is the foremost disrupter of inequality in the entertainment industry. Dr. Smith is the Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII), the leading global think tank studying issues of inequality in entertainment. Dr. Smith’s groundbreaking research examines inclusion of gender, race/ethnicity, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities and mental health in storytelling across film, TV and digital platforms. The Initiative releases analyses of top-grossing films (on screen, behind the camera, executive ranks), popular music (artists, songwriters, producers), and impediments facing women and individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in the director's chair. The Initiative also performs economic analyses to investigate the relationship between inclusion and financial performance. Dr. Smith’s work is covered regularly in popular press outlets including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CBS This Morning, NPR, and many others.Dr. Smith has authored over 150 book chapters, articles, and reports, along with over 50 studies at the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on various aspects of entertainment. Most recently, Dr. Smith was the force behind The Inclusion List, a data-driven ranking of the most inclusive films, companies, and producers from 2019 to 2022. In addition to being a prolific writer, Dr. Smith speaks routinely on issues of inequality in the media. Her TED Talk has been viewed more than 1 million times, and she has spoken multiple times at the United Nations, the White House, Sundance Film Festival, and the Toronto Film Festival. She also testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Other speaking engagements include but are not limited to Promax, the Bloomberg Equality Summit, the Milken Global Conference, and LunaFest. Dr. Smith’s work was also the basis for the docuseries, 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM, she appears in the documentary HALF THE PICTURE, and is an Executive Producer of the documentary UNCHARTED, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.Dr. Smith also creates solutions to increase representation in media. In 2010, she devised and later coauthored the inclusion rider, a contractual clause that guarantees the representation of underrepresented groups in entertainment projects. In 2018, Dr. Smith worked with Brie Larson to advocate for greater access and opportunity for underrepresented film critics at notable film festivals. In 2019, Dr. Smith partnered with TIME'S UP to launch the 4% challenge, which asked Hollywood industry members to work with a female film director in the following eighteen months; the challenge was accepted by more than 120 notable creatives and 7 major companies. Dr. Smith served on the Recording Academy Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion following the release of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s inaugural study on the music industry and is Founding Board Member of She Is The Music, and the TIME’S UP Global Leadership Board. LA Weekly named Dr. Smith the most influential person in Los Angeles in 2015. In 2019, the Hollywood Reporter named her one of 50 Agents of Change, and in 2021 Billboard listed Dr. Smith as an industry Change Agent.

©2024 Dr. Stacy L. Smith & the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. All Rights Reserved.

©2024 Dr. Stacy L. Smith & the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. All Rights Reserved.