Hollywood and Minorities


A new [Tumblr][1] is cutting Hollywood films to just the speaking parts for non-white people. Suffice it to say, the new films are not very long. My ‘favourite’ has to be Noah, that film about the Biblical flood. I’ve not seen the film but given the source material I’d expect a few non-white actors. [Here’s the new cut][2].

I found out about this from [Buzzfeed][3]. The article explains,

Marron [the project-maker] wants the audience to come up with their own conclusions about the lack of diversity in Hollywood after watching the clips.

“I present these cuts without comment and without embellishment,” he said. “As the volume of videos keeps getting bigger, a pattern will emerge. When you lay out patterns in front of people, they speak much louder than any megaphone rant.”

One part of the article really caught my eye,

Although Marron’s idea is simple and straightforward, he still receives negative criticism toward the project, mostly from YouTube commenters.

“It’s interesting to see people get so defensive when the work they’re attacking is simply presented facts,” Marron said.

Sound familiar?!

It’s a surprisingly good article (I have to say, I’ve been really impressed with Buzzfeed and how it tackles things like racism, sexism, homophobia and the like. It may have a lot of fluff but there’s some really good stuff hidden there).

Of course the comments are doing a wonderful job of justifying why work like this is needed. Many are denying there is a problem and claim that black people are more represented in things like rap and hip-hop (seriously) so there’s no racism, okay? As are so many of these conversations, the complete lack of awareness and the certainty with which baseless views are espoused is depressing to behold.
[1]: http://everysinglewordspoken.tumblr.com/
[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBrXSKSXhc4
[3]: http://www.buzzfeed.com/fionarutherford/a-man-is-editing-hollywood-movies-so-only-people-of-colour-s#.dhDRoGebo



I saw that earlier and it was awesome.

It is interesting how the ‘discussion’ around such work always takes the same format. It’s the same as the piece I read yesterday about the lack of black people in depictions of Tudor England:

Again, denying there’s a problem, saying that unless someone can prove that black people played a crucial role in Tudor England that you can’t complain when films and TV series don’t show them. It like a broken record.



There Are More LGBTQ Characters on TV Than Ever
Good news, with the caveat that they are still token characters.



Filmmakers Asked Marlee Matlin To Teach A Non-Deaf Actress “How To Be Deaf”
Filmmakers would rather people act disabled than hire disabled actors.



Why the British addiction to period drama is driving away our best black and Asian actors
I have a problem with the huge popularity of period dramas because, by focusing on rich people, they make the past look much more enjoyable that it was for the vast majority of people. People imagine themselves living in big houses wearing expensive clothes and having a load of servants, seemingly not realising that it’s far more likely that they’d be the servants below stairs than the rich folk above. The problem with this is that when (generally right-wing) politicians talk about taking countries back to those times they get enthusiastic support rather than the looks of horror they should get.

Another problem, as highlighted by this article, is that these period drama reflect a Britain where minorities were not visible. With their domination of the TV schedules it means that there are limited roles for minority actors and they are having to leave the UK to get any real chance at career success or stability.

Andrew Lloyd Webber warns of diversity crisis in British theatre
Andrew Lloyd Webber points out a similar trend in the Theatre, but notes that it’s not just a leaky pipeline but a blocked pipe, with theatre schools not taking BAME students. He says that this means that even if a production that requires BAME actors does get the greenlight, they then struggle to find enough people to fill the roles, which makes producers less likely to want to repeat the experience.

Why Do We Keep Seeing So Much Scissoring In Lesbian Sex Scenes?
The final piece looks at the impact of this lack of diversity. People are wanting to see more diversity on screen but the lack of diversity off screen means that it is often portrayed unrealistically. This piece examines one example, that of lesbian sex scenes and shows how they are generally shot to titillate male viewers rather than give a realistic portrayal of what the sex is typically like.



This is the sort of article that Buzzfeed seems to do better than almost anyone else. The clickbait is clearly paying for some decent journalists! This is a long but detailed piece on how Hollywood is nowhere near as progressive as it likes to think it is.

Hollywood Is Confused About What Really Counts As Progress



[note to self - logged]