A recent study examined how Hollywood movies between 2013 and 2022 addressed climate change. The aim was to determine if these films acknowledged the issue and if the characters within them were aware of its existence. Shockingly, the majority of these movies failed a crucial “climate reality check” assessment, which evaluates whether films recognize climate change as a real problem and if characters within the story are conscious of its impacts. Surprisingly, only a small fraction of the movies examined included climate change as part of their plotline. What is intriguing is that certain unexpected films passed the test, despite not being explicitly about climate change. Conversely, some movies explicitly tackling the subject did not meet the criteria. The analysis found that streaming platforms tended to offer a broader selection of movies addressing climate change compared to major film studios. Experts argue that such studies could play a pivotal role not only in marketing but also in education, as they spark conversations about pressing global issues like climate change.

The researchers likened their climate reality check to the Bechdel-Wallace test, which assesses gender representation in movies. This comparison underscores the significance of addressing climate change in contemporary storytelling. By shedding light on the shortcomings in how climate change is portrayed in popular culture, the study serves as a catalyst for broader discussions about environmental issues. It suggests a growing desire among audiences for more realistic and socially relevant narratives in cinema.