The supposed issues regarding diversity in the film industry became at their most apparent during the run-up to the 2016 Academy Awards. A number of filmmakers and actors completely boycotted the ceremony in solidarity for a lack of diversity in the nominations for that year, and most other years. The issues with diversity in the film industry range from issues with gender pay, as well as race equality (which is particular to this article).
The notion in which there are significantly more white actors in industry, and when ethnically different actors get cast they get cast in stereotypical parts has gained incredible amounts of recognition. Here are the two things we know for sure:
- Over the last 6 years, only 33 of the top 600 grossing movies were created by a black director.
- Only 5 of the top 50 grossing actors of all time are African-American (Eddie Murphy, Samuel. L Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith and Denzel Washington).
Here is a slightly more visual aid for the issue:
The saddest fact, is the silence. Of course, none of the Hollywood pioneers, this including the Academy, have ever said there is a diversity issue. However, they’ve gone out of their way to deny it. Eventually, the silence is becoming noise. It’s getting louder and louder and progress is being made.
The Evolution of Diversity
Marvel and DC have been seen to take these criticisms into account, after a recognition of a lack of black actors in their popular and high-grossing pictures. With the appearance of Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy), Anthony Mackie (Captain America) and Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four), they’re actively making an effort to ensure diversity is achieved. As well as this, the upcoming adaption of ‘Black Panther’, with actor Chadwick Boseman as the starring role, shows new heights for diversity.
Independent projects are also providing change. Film Independent’s Josh Welsh has pioneered the Project Involve initiative, which involves young filmmakers and gives them their initial opportunities. The initiative usually provides the filmmakers with money to create their own short films, which in the past have ended up in prestigious US Film Festivals. The initiative is in it’s 23rd year, and boasts of names like Jennifer Phang and Jon M. Chu.
The incredible steps being taken are becoming more and more apparent. Stay tuned for how this applies to Supremacist.
By Amanda Elliott