FILM ESSAYS

Breaking The Silence: What Do People Really Want From “Diversity” In Film?

di·ver·si·ty
 the state of being diverse; variety.
– a range of different things.

The hot button topic in the film world (and the world in general) is bringing in the faces of more than those we’re used to seeing. Translation: “Can we see more than the same straight white men in all of our movies?”

It’s a question that was able to get a strong platform a few years ago when the #OscarsSoWhite campaign took shape more rapidly than a case of poison ivy thanks to the media a response that broadened an ever more fascinating narrative on the subject. One corner says that this is an unfair argument to make and the other side says that there is clearly a minimal group of filmmakers, actors, and stories that have a minority in the mix. To be fair to any person working in the business and maintaining a career, that’s terrific, and you should be applauded for putting the work in. It would be unfair to criticize people – specifically white film makers – for doing exactly what minority groups want to do, but, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a clear issue when it comes to the diversity in the film world and something should be done to fix that.

I think the arguments and frustrations have taken a turn for the worse over the months and years negating the valid points made to bring in more people of color for open ended roles and parts as well as limiting the types of stories being made at studios beyond having a white protagonists and little to no starring roles for women. Getting away from the color aspect of this debate, a half of the human population (women) should not be desperately trying to get a job anywhere, and that needs to change the fastest, but understanding why there’s an issue with diversity at all stems from the harsh reality of… well reality.

Art imitates life. Art of all types is a time capsule for a culture in their current state of being and sadly the American history we’re taught indeed has minorities and women placed in the background. Very slowly that’s began changing with our nation changing with it thus maneuvering its artists to express that as they see fit. That’s what our modern world of movies and film should be doing, but naturally there is a clamoring for the process to move faster. There is room for unique and untold stories about all different types of people with writers, directors, actors, producers, etc. willing to put there all in bringing those visions to life. We can’t blame the film makers themselves for getting and not getting certain projects, it’s the studios not putting money into these stories, but also the audiences not supporting those original and diverse stories you claim to want.

Diversity should be a limitation on those who are white. Diversity in film should be an addition to the already vast collection of amazing stories being told by men and women every day. There will never be a time when we should think any one group of people should be depleted within an art form or that defeats the purpose of equal chances at making movies at all. Hollywood follows and listens to what the audiences want because they love money. Give your money to films that promote, ethnic, gender, and genre diversity and then maybe you can see more of those films in the future, but until then, studios need to show their support as well and give these filmmakers a chance.

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