Hollywood Diversity: Real-Life Stories

diversity hollywood discrimination footlightsThe New York Times: The #OscarsSoWhite awareness continues with these stories from the field.  If there are more diverse roles, there would be more diverse Oscars.  Asian, Black, Latino, Female, Gay:  the story is always the same.  There appears to be a desire to use stereotypes to tell stories which only increases the awareness of the stereotype.  The present discussion may help break the feedback loop.  These stories from those successful in the industry demonstrate, however, that it will be an uphill battle:

A U.C.L.A. acting professor gave me good marks in my performance and [said]: “You’re a good actor, which is why I’m telling you, stay the hell out of L.A. There’s not much of a future for you. Go to Asia.” I got an A. He was saying that out of respect. — Ken Jeong

Some white male casting director was dictating what it meant to be Latin. He decided I needed an accent. He decided I should [have] darker-colored skin. The gatekeepers are not usually people of color, so they don’t understand you should be looking for way more colors of the rainbow within that one ethnicity. — Eva Longoria

I remember the executive saying, “Why does she have to be black?” And me saying: “She doesn’t have to be; I want her to be black. Why would you not consider it?” — John Ridley

Gregory [Hines] kissed everybody, and so in [The Gregory Hines Show] he would kiss his son, Matty. This particular day someone from CBS said: “I notice every time you come in, you kiss Matty. So I wanted to ask, do black people kiss their kids?” — Wendell Pierce

About Tracey Paleo

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Tracey Paleo is Associate Editor at FootLights Magazine. She's also the Founder and Chief Editor of the arts and culture site, Gia On The Move, where she often reviews live performance events.

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