January 24, 2019 — In a new survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights for Tirota, 80% of American movie and TV viewers say they are attracted to movies and documentaries addressing important social issues or causes, and 80% also feel that the entertainment industry should produce more movies and TV series exploring such issues.

Pollara conducted the online survey among a randomly-selected national sample of N=1,000 adult Americans who had seen at least one recently released movie or viewed a current episodic TV show over the past 12 months. The survey was conducted between November 28 and December 3, 2018.

Among the 53% who reported going to the movies at least once per month, 40% had seen three or more social issue-focussed films over the past 12 months.

Nine-in-ten (90%) feel that movies can play an important role in informing people about social issues, and 77% feel that movies and TV shows with this focus are all the more important given the current political climate.

“The survey evidences a strong preference for purpose-driven content across key demographics, including age, gender, ethnicity, education level and even political outlook,” said Pollara President Craig Worden. “Americans don’t always agree on the substance of an issue, but there is a clear desire for substantive content and engagement.”

Notably, social issue-focussed films and TV shows are on an equal footing with the news media in the eyes of movie and TV watchers. When asked who they trust most to truthfully and fairly represent social issues, equal proportions of Americans choose filmmakers (27%) and the news media (27%). Just 4% trust politicians, and 43% trust none of the above.

For further details, see article in the Hollywood Reporter or survey releases at Tirota and Tiller.

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