Steven Universe Steven Universe

Warnermedia has published “The Power of Stories” [download PDF] a report on its equity and inclusion initiatives as they stood in 2020.

While the document is mostly concerned with the conglomerate’s live-action productions, it contains nuggets of data on its animation productions. It also contains information about the diversity of its workforce. Assessing the findings, Warnermedia CEO Jason Kilar heralded “important steps” toward equity, but added that “there is so much more to do.”

Here are some key stats (true as of 2020):

  • Across Cartoon Network shows in development, 54% of protagonists are female. The number for Warner Bros. Animation is 52%.
  • Of the protagonists of color in development at Cartoon Network, 58% are women.
  • Warnermedia doesn’t give figures for animated characters currently onscreen. But across all its scripted shows, it says 36% of characters are women (up from 34% in 2019).
  • Cartoon Network has featured 96 LGBTQ+ characters in its shows and has aired 19 LGBTQ+-inclusive shows. This puts it ahead of all other surveyed platforms, according to, whose report is cited by Warnermedia.
  • Warnermedia’s global workforce is 54% male — unchanged from 2018. Men occupy 54% of senior leadership positions and 52% of management roles.
  • The data presents gender as binary, with women accounting for the remaining 46% of the workforce. The report notes that Warnermedia is working to reframe how it captures gender.
  • The workforce is 58% white, down from 61% in 2018. Senior leadership is 72% white, management 62%.
  • Asian Americans make up 12% of the company, as do Black staff. Hispanic/Latinx workers account for 11%.

The report also contains a profile of Colombia’s Silvia Prietov and Luisa Velásquez, winners of 2020’s Girl Power: Pitch Me the Future pitching competition (which Cartoon Network Latin America runs with Pixelatl). “Beside education, the macho attitude can make it difficult [for women to advance in Colombia’s animation industry],” says Prietov. “I had one director tell me he’d never let me direct.”

Image at top: Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe,” which has promoted diversity and inclusivity in various ways