Minority Coalition Pushes Movie Studios for More Diversity

National Hispanic Media Coalition
Courtesy of National Hispanic Media Coalition

In the wake of all-white Oscar acting nominations, members of the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition have pledged to pressure the big six movie studios for more diversity.

The coalition includes the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) and American Indians in Film and Television (AIFT). The group held a news conference Thursday — three weeks after the Oscar nominations were announced — to disclose the specifics of their plans to press Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. to embrace diversity.

“This is important because it’s about how we are perceived,” said Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Coalition on the need for more diversity.

“The fact that all of the nominees across the top four acting categories at this year’s Oscars are once again white impacts African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans,” Nogales said. “Individuals from all of our communities have been denied meaningful opportunities for their work to be considered for Academy Awards.”

The coalition group, which has been pressing the major TV networks on diversity issues for 16 years, will seek commitments from the film studios to meet with them on an annual basis; to regularly provide data on their released films regarding casting, writing, producing and directing; and to explore strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion of people of color.

The group is also asking the studios to regularly provide data on the number of people of color among the studios’ top creative executives and to explore strategies for increasing those numbers; and to create “pipeline” programs to ensure that people of color have genuine opportunities to participate in all aspects of the creation of American motion pictures.

“All of our organizations have worked together since the summer of 1999 to improve opportunities for people of color in television,” said Sonny Skyhawk, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and founder of AIFT. “The great improvements you’ve seen on the small screen have been due in large part to our behind-the-scenes efforts. Now, we’re setting our sights on meeting with the top six movie studios and asking them to do the same on the big screen.”

Daniel Mayeda, co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, expressed frustration that most of the people who have the power to greenlight films are white and maintain that movies with minority casts don’t perform well, in spite of strong box office performances by such films as “Furious 7,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Creed.”

“Even when making films based on true stories, they often change the characters’ ethnicity to white,” Mayeda said.

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  1. Yo says:

    So is this what it comes down to now. These studios will be bullied by these left wing nuts.

  2. DRC says:

    Well here is an idea. How about making better films? Or should we just throw out token awards to make people feel better? I guess outside of Spike Lee no African American in Hollywood has cash to make a film?

  3. TheBigBangof20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    The word ethnic covers different shades of pale and therefore should be inclusive of all minorities, not just those who are not white.

  4. RonH says:

    Sonny Skyhawk’s Native americans in Film and Television is pretty much a one-man show in Hollywood. None of the Indian people here want to have anything to do with him and he does not represent us or anyone else. He got into the Academy not because of his acting roles which are very few and forgettable but because he managed to get the endorsement of two naive people who think he’s native american. skyhawk was born in Nebraska and his real name is Charles Brito. He changed it to sonny Roubidoux after his mother land later to Skyhawk cause it sounds Indian.

  5. Reid the Red says:

    It won’t stop here… Next it’s an ALL BLACK Jeopardy game show, and Wheel of Fortune. Trying to erase all evidence and history of Anglo-American Culture. Do we need an Irish American Month? Redheads are a dying minority, That hair trait is going the way of the Dodo bird. But you don’t see the Cultural Marxist Minority Coalition care! Down with WHITES!

  6. Look to the NAACP Image Award Nominations ……

  7. lindsey says:

    Better than protesting, maybe make your own films. Literally no one is trying to stop you.

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