Why Diversity (in Film & TV) is Important

In Soapbox by Nate Clark

Diversity initiatives in television and film aren’t charity. They are vital.

Stephen Colbert’s Late Show was recently criticized for hiring a writing staff comprised of 17 men and 2 women… all of whom are white. Matt Damon just made headlines for speaking his mind about diversity… and came off looking like a jackass. Then, Viola Davis became the first black actress to win an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series… only to have her poignant acceptance speech about diversity publicly maligned by soap opera actress Nancy Lee Grahn. Grahn succeeded in shifting the conversation away from Davis’ historic win and turned it into a debate about her comments. That really ticked me off.

All these things prompted me to speak up about my feelings on the topic of diversity in Hollywood. I’ve been a part of several diversity initiatives, and I believe that they are vital to the survival of narrative film and television.

Here are a few links to sources:

http://splitsider.com/2015/09/17-men-2-women-colberts-writers-room-shows-that-nothings-changed-in-late-night/

http://splitsider.com/2015/09/why-is-diversity-still-such-an-issue-at-places-like-ucb/

http://www.thewrap.com/this-director-and-woman-of-color-doesnt-buy-matt-damons-diversity-apology-guest-blog/

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/09/matt-damon-apology-diversity-project-greenlight-effie-brown

http://graphics.wsj.com/late-night-tv-show-ratings-and-hosts/