Diversity in Hollywood: Failure of Inclusion Plagues the Entire Industry

Oscars Diversity Controversy
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

In 2015, America’s age-old struggle over civil rights centered on police violence. Gunshots too often killed unarmed black citizens — and the African-American population exploded with indignation, no longer willing to abide the status quo.

This year, the nation’s battle over identity and inclusion has found a new focus: Hollywood. The tipping point arrived with the Jan. 14 unveiling of Oscar nominees, a list as white as the Social Register, circa 1950. The announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences — revealing that every one of the 20 acting nominees was white, incredibly, for the second consecutive year — has filled the Twitterverse and cable talk shows with outrage, plunging the Academy into crisis. The lack of diversity has dominated the conversation, from the executive suites at Disney to the hallways of CAA.

The 89-year-old motion picture academy is absorbing the brunt of the public disdain. But the fault lies not just in the star-making Oscars, many agreed, but in ourselves. The Hollywood studio hierarchy remains an exclusive club chaired by white men and one white woman. The big talent agencies have almost no minority partners. And the media that cover it all — Variety included — employ only a few people of color.

Illustration by Daniel Zender for Variety

The Academy Board of Governors met in an emergency session on Jan. 21 to tamp down the uproar before Oscar’s big night on Feb. 28. The group’s president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, unveiled immediate reforms designed to double the number of women and non-whites in the organization by 2020. Boone Isaacs also announced the Academy would cull from its membership those who have not worked in 10 years, and promised to diversify the overwhelmingly white Board of Governors. Of 51 governors, only Boone Isaacs, an African American, and one other are members of racial minority groups.

“The Academy is going to lead,” Boone Isaacs assured, “and not wait for the industry to catch up.”

But many inside Hollywood concurred that, for the latest furor to provoke real change, more than a rewriting of Academy bylaws would be required.

“Diversity does not just happen,” said L.A. Film Festival chief Stephanie Allain, a producer of movies such as “Hustle & Flow,” and a former high-level executive at Columbia Pictures. “You have to have the intention to make it happen. You have to talk about it. And then you have to walk the walk.”

Allain, who is African-American, has instructed her festival staff to find not only great films, but ones made by women and minority directors. The result? Thirty-five percent of the movies at last year’s L.A. fest were helmed by people of color, and 40% by women.

“Why don’t we do a trial of five years throughout the industry, of hiring those (minority) writers, developing those artists, hiring those executives and see what happens?” said Allain, who along with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and costume designer Ruth E. Carter, both African American, lost bids to white incumbents last year to become Academy governors. “People want to see themselves up on that screen,” Allain said. “If you believe in it and understand it, you know diversity can mean bigger results at the box office, too.”

So, what are the heads of Hollywood’s six major studios saying about the lack of diversity in their executive ranks and in the content they produce? Three of the six — five of whom are white and all but one of whom are male — agreed to a request by Variety to speak on the record about the industry’s diversity problem.

“There’s no question that this is an important issue and deserves respect, attention and response,” said Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman. “We must continue working with filmmakers and creatives who understand we need to tell inclusive stories that are reflective of the audiences coming to our movies.” Horn, who joined Disney after heading Warner Bros. for 12 years, added, “We need to have a diverse workforce, reflecting the diversity in society, and we’re working toward that.”

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up.”
Cheryl Boone Isaacs

Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos said that while his studio is proud of the strong gender equality in its workforce — all of its production division heads are women, and there is additional diversity throughout the executive ranks ­— it’s incumbent upon management to push harder.

“That’s not enough. We need to continue to diversify our workforce, and as to film, it’s more than the right thing to do to make movies that reflect our audiences, culture and community. There’s more to do.”

Gianopulos stressed that diversity efforts need to start early, at “the other end of the process,” with studios working with cinematic educational institutions like the Ghetto Film School, a non-profit bicoastal program designed to encourage “tomorrow’s next generation of great filmmakers.”

Brad Grey, chairman of Paramount Pictures, also acknowledged the need for studios to double down on their diversity efforts.

“Over the years, our studio has had a longstanding legacy of working with a distinguished group of diverse artists and filmmakers, but we certainly recognize much more needs to be done,” said Grey. “As content creators,” he added, “embracing and promoting diversity, equality and inclusion always has been and will be core to our foundation.”

Hollywood’s top four talent agencies — CAA, WME, ICM and UTA — each gave Variety information about minority recruitment efforts and their earnest commitment to diversity. But not a single leader from any of those agencies would agree to an interview by Variety.

DIFFERENT STRATEGIES: Oscar host Chris Rock aims to use satire to examine the diversity issue; Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have called for a boycott of the awards; Spike Lee is among those who’s said he won’t attend. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

The heads of the major talent guilds, DGA, SAG, WGA and PGA, also declined to comment. The DGA was the only guild to put out a statement, on Monday, acknowledging, “It is time to be clear — structural changes are needed.”

None of the agencies, studios or broadcast and cable TV networks contacted would provide Variety with stats on the demographic makeup of their workforces.
Only streaming services Netflix and Amazon obliged.

Social Media Campaign

Filmmaker and provocateur Spike Lee got the diversity debate started, bemoaning “#OscarsSoWhite … Again” on Instagram, and saying he and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, would bypass the awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre because of the shutout of minorities in the acting categories. Lee noted that there’s not much “flava” in the rest of the Oscar lineup, either.

In putting out the stay-away marker — soon seconded by Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith — Lee pointed at the awards disparity at hand. But he made it clear the entertainment industry’s exclusionary culture runs much deeper.

THE ACADEMY BY THE NUMBERS: A 2012 study by the Los Angeles Times found that nearly 94% of voting members were white. Of 51 governors, only 2 are minorities.

“As I see it, the Academy Awards is not where the ‘real’ battle is,” wrote the maker of “Chi-Raq.” “It’s in the executive office of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks. This is where the gatekeepers decide what gets made and what gets jettisoned. … This is what’s important. Those with ‘the green light’ vote.”

Almost all the voices against the Oscar white-out have been African-Americans. And, yes acclaimed black artists, in films like “Straight Outta Compton,” “Creed,” “Beasts of No Nation” and “Concussion,” went unrecognized. But where were Latinos among the nominees? And what about Asian-American talent? How could many categories, notably for technical achievement, exclude women almost entirely?

It would be a “pigment of the imagination” — as Archie Bunker once liked to say — to believe that the diversity challenge emerged suddenly in 2016, whether within the Academy or the business at large.

These percentages have not changed since 2007.

Source: USC Annenberg’s Media Diversity & Social Change Initiative, “Inequality in 700 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race & LGBT Status from 2007 to 2014”

But the Oscars always reflect the industry, and the history of Hollywood is largely one of white men. In the 88 years of Academy Awards, there have been 433 nominations for director. Only three have gone to African-Americans, or less than 1%. Seven noms have been given to Latinos (including the three recently to Alejandro G. Inarritu, most recently for “The Revenant”); six to Asians (with half of those nabbed by Ang Lee) and four to women. Combined, all of these acknowledgments account for less than 5% of the total nominees.

The picture in the cinematography category is similarly monochromatic, with 589 films nominated, and only 22 nominations going to non-whites — a total that would be considerably more paltry were it not for the 10 earned by the late Chinese-American cinematographer James Wong Howe. A woman has never been nominated for the cinematography prize.

This is to say nothing of other groups such as Native Americans and the disabled, who are also under-represented compared with their numbers in the country’s population.

There are at least 56 million Americans with disabilities, noted Deborah Calla, chair of two diversity groups within the Producers Guild of America, “but it’s the minority that nobody talks about.” Said Alex Nogales, president-CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition: “Latino actors should be standing up and saying, ‘We’re being excluded; there’s no balance.’ We need to be much more assertive. We need our artists to be bullish about this.”

Race/Ethnicity in the 100 Top Films of 2014
These percentages have not changed since 2007.
26.9% Percentage of films with characters from an underrepresented race/ethnicity
40+ Films with no speaking roles for Asians
17 Films with no speaking roles for blacks
17 Films with a lead/co-lead actor from an underrepresented race/ethnicity

Suhad Obeidi, director of the Hollywood bureau of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, noted that there are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, but they are invisible in most major-studio films. (She might have added: unless it’s to be portrayed as the heavies in jingoistic plotlines.) “If the lack of recognition is still happening to communities who have been working in the industry for decades, what does it say to the Muslim community?” she added. “We need to join efforts with all under-served communities. … Diversity shouldn’t be (optional).”

The reason for the imbalance is no mystery, given who makes and appears in most films and who votes for the Oscars. A 2012 Los Angeles Times investigation found that 94% of Academy voters were white, and 77% were men. Despite a subsequent recruiting drive and more intensive efforts to include minorities, led by Boone Isaacs, the percentage of whites remained stubbornly high: pegged at 93% two years later. The Academy has never confirmed or refuted the percentages, and the exact ethnic breakdown remains a closely kept secret by the 6,300-member organization.

A Sorry History

Hollywood has been under fire from the under-represented since at least the 1970s. One of the biggest Oscar protests came 20 years ago, when Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition balked at nominations for the 1996 ceremony, which included just one African-American out of 166 nominees (Dianne Houston in the live-action short category).

As the Hispanic Coalition’s Nogales said: “The term ‘people of color’ now usually refers to African-Americans. But I am a person of color, and I want to be included. Studios are 90% white and 90% male. But people of color represent 40% of the population. Hollywood decision-makers should be ashamed of themselves. Are they going to continue to ignore us? If so, they will eventually see us stop going to movies.”

The drive for urgent change is not shared, though, by everyone in the industry. Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling, up for her leading role in “45 Years,” said it might be “racist to whites” to insist the Oscar noms needed more people of color. “Perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list,” said the 69-year-old British actress. She later told CBS News, “I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted.”

It wasn’t only whites questioning the diversity furor. Actress and Fox News commentator Stacey Dash, who is black, called an Oscar boycott “ludicrous,” suggesting that industry members should never be singled out by their racial identity. John Singleton, Oscar-nominated director of “Boyz n the Hood,” expressed only muted concern. “The demographics of America and this business are changing,” he opined. “The Academy’s going to evolve. So I’m not really worried about it.”

Despite the pledge by Lee and the Smiths to shun the Oscars, a full-blown boycott seemed, at least in the first week, to gain little momentum. Lee appeared on PBS’ “Charlie Rose” talk show, and clarified that he never intended to force his opt-out on others.

Another crucial figure, Chris Rock, is still committed to hosting the Oscar telecast, despite calls by some African-American performers, including actor Tyrese Gibson, to bail out.

A FAMILIAR ISSUE:Jesse Jackson marches with Sunny Skyhawk in a 1996 Rainbow Coalition protest over the 68th Oscars, which included just one black nominee, for live-action short. FREDERICK M. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Sources close to the telecast said that Rock and Oscar producer Reginald Hudlin, who is also black, would approach the show like any comedy gig — pulling no punches.

Ultimately, the greatest agents of change within the industry likely will be those who don’t plead for a piece of the pie, but rather help bake pies of their own. Individuals like multihyphenate Tyler Perry, insisting on an ownership stake in their work, advance not only their own interests, but those of other people of color whom they put on the payroll. (Perry declined a request to be interviewed for this story.)

Charles King, one of only a handful of African-Americans to make partner at a major agency (WME), last year founded his own company, Macro, to finance entertainment projects for multicultural audiences. When the Oscar noms were unveiled, Macro issued a statement on social media. “This highlights the need for more financiers and media companies, like Macro, that are laser-focused on the new majority,” it read, in part. King also declined to give an interview, preferring to stick by Macro’s statement.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose brother Ari co-heads WME, has embraced the adage, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” urging activists to make strategic advances in the face of emergencies. Producer Allain echoed those words in the wake of the Oscar crisis.

“The beauty of it is that the Academy is very visible, and it is a reflection of what is happening in the rest of the business,” she said. “How could we engage on the issue of systemic under-representation, without some marker. … The conversation is happening, which is fantastic.”

Justin Kroll, Todd Spangler, Debra Birnbaum, Cynthia Littleton, Dave McNary and Ted Johnson contributed to this report.

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  1. Jose Mendes says:

    Non-Jewish whites are dramatically underrepresented in Hollywood, and Hollywood is openly antiwhite. In the last year, Hollywood has produced several films glorifying killing white people. Meanwhile, the culture Marxist media obsesses about whether Hollywood could be made even more politically correct and discriminate against white gentiles even more than it does.

    White people should boycott Hollywood and the entire culture Marxist media for that matter.

  2. jonnyrp says:

    I find it a little odd that Charlize Theron still considers herself Jewish but Pagan. I know there are pagan that are Jewish, others will most likely hide either of the part. Or, does being one or the other might have helped her be paid more than Tom Hardy for Mad Max? Or instead, had her take a lesser check? Because it seems that they had a feud. And what about Roma actors? Michael Cain, Fairuza Balk (Claims she’s roma) wonder how many of them are still allowed to have a shot at the mainstream fare only for the fact that they aren’t Christian, Protestant, Jewish and so on… Well, i too suspect a guy like Brad Dourif to be a roma actor, but that would be speculation. Weither there should be more equality in Hollywood’s awards ceremony, we should have more than one actor from a specific religion battling 2 actors from another one imo. Many deserving actors do a great, respected and magistral Job in the area of indie films, yet the more films are produced, the thinner the diversity in culture, ways, styles and opinions to be discussed and debated between actors are becoming.

    Starting with the fact that a lot of things such as circus, cabaret, freakshows and even some litterature belong to the European Roma and Pagan, A part of that entertainment culture should and is owed to them. i suspect there are still many actors and entertainers that will refuse to get out of the closet and demand to be seen more for what they can do and bring to the table that funnily enough, doesn’t come close to support diversity anymore. If nothing is done, a bore it as become and a bore it’ll remain.

  3. Jeff says:

    Just to give somebody something because the color of their skin or their gender not because they earned it, isn’t that discrimination?
    Where are all the equal rights activist on this one?

  4. Andre Thomas says:

    Shame these stats don’t mention the fact that the majority individuals identifying themselves as a jew makes up a majority of the industry.

    Anyhow if Variety clearly care diversity, why aren’t they calling out NBA, NFL, MLB, or NHL?

  5. William Alford says:

    For starters stop using mostly white actors from Australia and UK. Stop importing them. We have plenty of talent here.

  6. LFP2015 says:

    It will be such a relief when the Oscars are 50.8% female, 49.2% male, 64% white, 12% black, 16% Latino, 5% Asian, 2% gay, and 0.3% transgender. Finally, justice!

    By the way, how is Variety doing conforming to these percentages? How many full-time black staffers do you have? How many Hispanics? How many Asians? How many native Americans?

    Currently, Variety appears to be a racist organization. Time to boycott!

    • hasdibravo says:

      They acknowledged that in the third paragraph. Admitting that problem is the first step in fixing that problem.

      • raze2012 says:

        and based on their report, so has The Academy:

        “Diversity does not just happen,” said L.A. Film Festival chief Stephanie Allain, a producer of movies such as “Hustle & Flow,” and a former high-level executive at Columbia Pictures. “You have to have the intention to make it happen. You have to talk about it. And then you have to walk the walk.”

        equally applicable To Variety, I believe

  7. Ronny says:

    So the Race-Baiting PC Police are now going after the Entertainment Industry? Funny how Liberals have all supported the minorities in our country and NOW they are being told to hand over their Films & Funding.

    Maybe now, the Liberals in the Film & Television Industry will understand just exactly how racist blacks manipulate the system….first hand. Godd luck.

  8. sadfsdfasf says:

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  9. IT--two--IT says:

    Er, and along the way, address the INTEL RUN entertainment ‘problem’ too.


  10. jamiekins says:

    The Oscars are about quality performances not color.
    If we’re talking percentages, Black people would not be happy with just census numbers of 13.2% of the exposure at all. They have that. So yes what about the Asians, Hispanics, and how does the industry plan to make money when they are limiting the number of white people which make up the majority of the population.
    If they give Oscars to people because of color there won’t be an audience for the Oscars.
    So how do you get the money from white people while telling them to take a back seat in rolls and participation, when white people are the majority of the population? Do you actually think that the majority is going to pay for being insulted and pushed aside so the few can have an Oscar ? It’s the other minorities that should be complaining not the Blacks. They don’t do anything at all but whine, and they get more exposure than any minority people. If you want to lose billions of dollars just try putting the majority of the people aside for the few. If a movie doesn’t reflect the population people just won’t go and see it. If you doubt that check the amount of money that Black films make again. Look real close at the numbers !

  11. West Hollywood says:

    Hollywood should have the same diversity as TV series such as Being Mary Jane, Empire or other series produced by and starring black entertainers. Those are black TV series that feature mostly black cast, especially in the lead roles.

    No one’s saying Being Mary Jane needs more Asians, Hispanics or white cast members. I’m sure if such comments were made about Empire the person making the commenting would be called a racist.

    Why is it that these shows are allowed to be produced with so little regard for the diversity that’s now being demanded of many movies and TV series in mainstream Hollywood?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not diversity, that’s favoring one group – confusing the issue leads to much hostility to what should be common sense and good business practice (the artistic works on offer and the people contributing to their production and distribution should reflect their intended audiences).

  12. kojoto says:

    What about more films w/ Asians?? Proportionate to the population %, I think there is a semi-fair amount of blacks in features but Asians are nowhere. Not in Film. Not in TV and not in pop music, Where are the Asians????

  13. LarryB says:

    You want to see more minority actors in features? You talk to Bob Iger – like right now. Ask him. Outside of the new Star Wars movie, Disney has pathetically few in it’s theatrical films. As do all the other majors. It’s still “let’s include someone in a secondary (or lower) role and forget about it.

  14. Tom says:

    Without Hollywood, I don’t know that the civil rights movement, the gay movement, the feminist movement, etc. would have been nearly as effective. The news only gives us politics and coverage, but Hollywood gives us stories, often in our living rooms, that offer a personal perspective from different cultures. Without The Color Purple or 12 Years A Slave, I might not relate the same way to black struggles. Without Modern Family or Brokeback Mountain, a straight person may not understand a gay person as well. Without Kramer Vs Kramer, I may not understand a family going through divorce. Without Schinder’s List or Woody Allen, I may not understand the Jewish struggle as well. On and on. Get real, the performances just weren’t there this year. Let’s focus on the things that were.

  15. Steve says:

    How is it fair that Jada and her husband have so much Hollywood money? It seems like our world favors blacks! Give me some of that money, Jada!

  16. Steve says:

    THE ACADEMY AWARDS AREN’T ABOUT INCLUSION! ANY kind of award is about ELITISM! And where you have elitism you do NOT – usually – have DIVERSITY! The two are “mutually exclusive.” We’re getting into some “technical” terms here but how the academy votes are DISTRIBUTED among non-white actors is evidently more complicated than some people realize, who insist upon diversity at every turn. The Academy awards are not based on a democracy! They are not all inclusive! It is NOT ABOUT DIVERSITY!

    Look, the BET awards are actually more racist than the Academy awards because they are DESIGNED for “blacks only,” whereas the Academy awards are actually designed to be – as a matter of fact – all inclusive, but that doesn’t mean that each and every year the awards will be according to a predetermined ratio of white/black etc, which is ridiculous. So there’s actually a huge amount of hypocrisy among black people who are crying racist. If all the top 5 nominees were black, would they be upset? Hell no!

    It may be sufficient to believe that there were simply a lot of good roles for white actors this year and last, but let’s look at it from a statistical point of view. It’s the way all the votes are DISTRIBUTED among the non-white actors that caused only whites to be in the top 5 this year and last – and perhaps “star worship” among the white actors, not white over black, but AMONG white actors, where votes (at least this year and last) tend to cluster around certain “stars,” which would appear as a spike for a particular actor if one were to graph this on a chart, but where this same thing is less common among non-white actors and where the votes are therefore more dispersed – in which case it can be considered a “statistical anomaly,” or “circumstantial,” that all the top 5 nominees for actors are white, and NOT racism. But what makes this truly troublesome is that black people (but not other non-white groups) don’t just suspect, but are CONVINCED, that this coincidence is MALICIOUS, rather than circumstantial. So the phenomenon of “Celebrity” seems more the cause of this than pure racism. We really can’t know without knowing how all the votes were distributed, but the votes will always be skewed around celebrities, with few exceptions. Celebrities will almost always attract more votes, no matter what the ethnicity, even when not truly deserved.

  17. jamiekins says:

    Why should any industry cater to 13.2% of the population ? The better question is why should the film business cater to Blacks when their movies make almost no money at all ? This is such a bogus waste of time. And why are Blacks allowed to be so racist and whites are called out for everything we do ?
    The Academy is going to pay a big price for allowing these people to control them. With the audience fading as it is it can only go down. This whining by black people about everything is getting old.
    They don’t want to obey the law and want to control everything. They might try making films that have more quality than to whine because their mediocre films don’t win.

  18. bibol says:

    So racist black want more black people to receive more Oscars. They have all these black groups that only represent blacks. They are some of the most racists people. I liked Taraji P. Henson a top TV actress. She claimed racial profiling on her son which was a total lie. The only thing she did when got in this lie was apologize. Most black stars are very racist and you do not find out until after they win a reward. Some that received awards are not very talented. I do not watch the Oscars so lets let less talented blacks win all the Oscars

  19. seamusnh says:

    So, these hollywood industry types are actually racists and misogynists based on their voting? Wow, I thought the entertainment industry was enlightened and it us non-famous average people that were racists and misogynists…
    As for boycotting the awards due to the nominees, what if I boycotted the NBA finals if neither team had a white player? Or if I criticized the NBA for not having more pasty white Irish guys in the league? Would I be a racist?

    • TheBigBangof20thCenturyPopCulture says:

      You can actually measure athletic ability with the vertical jump. But judging entertainment content is purely subjective. Hollywood needs to respect population demographics to be more fair and balanced.

  20. TheBigBangof20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    I like how they group all whites into one category when only the whitest of whites in Hollywood fare well while other shades of pale or ethnics are segregated to less work, supporting roles or stereotypes. This is not just a B&W issue.

    • Steve says:

      Let’s break down all the white nominees further into their respective subgroups to stir even more fake outrage. The bottom line is that the Academy awards is a self-appointed group and they will pick who they want.

      • TheBigBangof20thCenturyPopCulture says:

        Oscar has jumped the shark. Movies have sucked for the last dozen years. The dream factory has been in its nightmare years for a long time now. Those not white enough will be lucky to win anyway.

  21. tony666ism says:

    Whether we like to admit it or not Hollywood is a privileged club, your not entitled to anything in Hollywood , and having any amount of moderate success in it takes massive luck. There wasn’t any black or Latino actor in any movie this year that was as good as johnny depp was in “Black Mass” yet he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar either. If you ask me , black people are being MASSIVELY
    self centered , people from all around the world try to be a part of Hollywood , yet they expect it to be national concern that they in particular have a hard time making it in Hollywood

  22. Alex says:

    These whiners cry about EVERYTHING!!

    Actresses make less than actors

    There are not enough black directors

    Producers cry that the studios only want to make Superhero flicks and not the dramas they want to make

    Not enough gay charcters in films and TV

    Studio execs are out to screw us (What else is new)

    Once and actress hit 30 the phone stops ringing

    I haven’t any of them screaming about the mess at SAG, but they can’t wait to jump up on a soap box and complain about a stupid awards show. Has the Whitehouse put out a statement yet?

  23. james wright says:

    Hit return too soon excuse me… Black/Latino/Asian magazines, award shows, movies & TV shows primarily exist because they have been excluded from the mainstream – white magazines, award shows, movies & TV shows. White people have had every opportunity to be fair and equal but have historically chosen not to be. All of those comments from the folks willing to go on record are the same comments they gave last time and the time before that she asked about diversity. It’s like an overweight person talking about losing weight or a drug addict talking about quitting. If you want to lose weight you have to exercise and change your diet. If you want to stop taking you drugs you have to quit and seek help and treatment. There are many black stories, hispanic stories, multi enthnic stories that hollywood has and want green light or won’t acquire thus they can’t green light them because of the elephant in the room… too many within white society are prejudice. They say one thing but in reality they are vain and bigoted and just want to see themselves. Walk like you talk, hire the asian, hire the black person, acquire the korean filmmakers scripts, hire the mexican woman as head of your studio. shut up or do something but stop the PC lip service!

  24. james wright says:

    The white guy continues to get the role.

  25. Lisa says:

    I just want to add one thing, I think Kristen Stewart is under the influence since her comments at Sundance were so way off that it’s laughable. ‘Stop complaining and just do something’. ‘Just write something or something’, she exclaims. I think the writing IS done. I think there are alot of really good diverse films out there waiting to get made. Films with completely new, rich and different outlooks on life. But, nobody is taking them. I don’t think people are just sitting around complaining as Stewart suggests. These complaints stem from pure frustration and anger at the industry. All the closed doors; it’s enough to make anyone want to give up. But I admire people who are fighting for their work to be made. That takes more courage than it does for Ms Stewart to sit up on stage cussing and swearing about how blacks and minorities are lazy. And that’s basically what she’s saying. In that, she is perpetuating the stereotype that someone who doesn’t make it in the industry ‘just isn’t trying hard enough’. Everyone knows the film industry is the last bastion of white male dominance. So for her to sit up there and spew that bs is useless and insulting. Especially since her first role was specifically that of a ‘very plain female’.

  26. Lisa says:

    Why is gender bias being completely ignored here? Even your stick men illustration above, is just that, stick MEN.
    It is completely untrue that white women are being included. Variety itself stated a few times this year that only 6.4% of any high budget film last year was directed by a women, less than those directed by minority men which I think was around 10%. We cannot overlook that or say that everything is fine with white women because they are somehow part and package of white men. It’s simply not the case.The truth is a white man would rather work with another male, either black or minority, before working with a white female. ‘Pals before gals’ as the saying goes.
    I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon because it’s time. I’m saying it because, even now, women of any colour are still being excluded and I’m afraid we’ll be left in the dust but it will be glossed over like it’s being glossed over right now.
    it’s seems black and minority males are making much more progress than any woman of any colour in the film industry or any industry, for that matter. Just look at the Peesidency of the United States.

    • Lisa says:

      Instead of ‘Peesidency’ I meant ‘Presidency’, although it’s probably one of the same.

      • Steve says:

        Regarding female directors, it’s not a matter of “exclusion.” Guys are drawn to certain things, like making movies. Plus they’re better at the organizational demands of movie making. Notice women always want to join a club after the men create the club. Why don’t women start their own clubs?

  27. Keith Parker says:

    Rather than make it some racially charged “black actors matter” protest, it would be more appropriate if the brothers and sisters in the business showed some real courage and insight and focused their indignation on the so-called velvet mafia of homosexuals that controls Hollywood and now most television content. It seems to be more of a straight/gay thing than a matter of black and white.

    • Bill B. says:

      More appropriate?!There isn’t anything appropriate in your entire racist message. Switching one form of discrimination to another is not progress. What a very stupid remark.

  28. Sexracist says:

    Variety continues their campaign to distract people from the real issue of income inequality and class warfare across all ethnicities. I guess that doesn’t matter so much to the richies in Hollywood.

  29. flosse says:

    Do we really need more diversity in a movie? Politically, it might be correct, but f*** political correctness which is nothing else but discrimination. Today there is hardly any TV show or movie without some kind of token black or Asian or Hispanic actor in order to appeal to these minorities as viewers. There are black or Hispanic movies that have no roles for white people, but I do not remember whites complaining. The commercial success of these movies in usually limited and I guess that is the problem, the reason why black actors want to have more roles in “white” movies.
    When it comes to bankable black actors who can carry a movie and put bums on seats, the list is usually exhausted as soon as you named Denzel Washington. Samuel L. Jackson stars in a number of blockbusters such as Jurassic Park, StarWars or a number of Marvel Superhero movies, but in these he is mostly scene stealing support. Wesley Snipes once was a boxoffice star, so was Will Smith some 8 years ago.
    Most black actors are neither bankable, nor good enough vor awards, get over it. It’s like a 5ft white boy complaining about not being nominated for the NBA all-stars team.

  30. Daniel Simon says:

    Looking specifically at African Americans, they aren’t underrepresented at the Oscars at all. It blows my mind that they’re the group pioneering the charge against the “racist” Oscars, when in reality the Oscars have been much better to them than to Asians and Hispanics.

    • Lisa says:

      So are you saying that blacks and minorities are inherently less talented than white actors, like your 5′ white b-ball player example suggests? The difference is, a 5′ b-ball player, either white or black, has the disadvantage of shortness. I do not think, as you are suggesting, that ANY minority or black has a disadvantage except having to combat ignorant idiotic attitudes of people like yourself.

    • Alex says:

      Nice try.

  31. Bill B. says:

    Why is there so much more diversity in the television, music & theater industries?

  32. hasdibravo says:

    As an unintended consequence of the racebending backlash (that started with THE LAST AIRBENDER), studios have been favoring scripts (and source materials) that feature white characters. Why? Because casting PoC characters with white actors is “bad” racebending but casting white characters with PoC actors is “good” racebending. Equal opportunity is a two-way street. If we were to promote diversity, we should equate not diversity as “absence of whites”. We have to be accept some scripts/materials need whitewashed” casting as long as the final result is diversified cast and crew. “Equal opportunity” should take precedence over “being faithful to the source material”, even if it means some PoC characters have to be cast with white actors. After all, white is a color too. #UnpopularOpinion

  33. TheBigBangof20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    Got it. So the Academy awards celebrity skin color and not talent. I’ll keep that in mind the next time someone brings up the merit argument.

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