Mike ErvinI often hear people who are outside of the white, straight, uncrippled male demographic complain about how, when they were kids, they rarely saw characters that looked like them in movies and on TV shows.

That sure was the case when I was a kid. Watch reruns of those nostalgia TV shows like Andy Griffith and the like, and you’ll see what I mean. They are so blazing white that binge-watching may well burn your retinas. And there sure as hell weren’t any cripples in Mayberry — not even begging on street corners.

I hear these same people say they really wish they had seen a lot more characters that looked like them in movies and on TV shows. They say this would have made them feel better about themselves. But not me. The only characters who looked like me in movies were Tiny Tim and bitter old Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life, and the only cripples on TV were telethon poster children. I wanted to see a whole lot less of them. That would have made me feel better about myself.

Apparently, things aren’t much better all these years later, at least not in the movies. The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California has a project called the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Every year they watch the 100 most popular movies of the previous year and make note of the numbe