centered around the various social and political injustices faced by minority groups, Awaken minorities is a blog published weekly with the goal of advocating change and encouraging the recognition of minority groups in the united states

Hollywood's Problem with Diversity

Hollywood has been failing minorities since the beginning of the industry. From the very start, minorities were only used in film to perpetuate the stereotypes assigned to them. They were only used as objects of comedy in film, and rarely if ever served any importance to the main plot. Although we have made far strides in recognizing and eliminating most discrimination that occurs in this country, it is obvious that this discrimination has not fully disappeared. To those who deny it, simply look to the film industry to see proof of how discrimination and racist sentiments has not truly left the minds and dispositions of citizens of this country. 

73% of a total 30,000 Hollywood actors have been recorded to be white. Even when Hollywood decides to put the focus on minorities in film, the industry so disgustingly whitewashes not only our stories, but our people as well. When creating a film about ancient Egypt, Hollywood will pour time and resources to make a white actor 'Egyptian' rather than hiring the many Egyptian actors being denied work because of their ethnicity. It is unbelievably ironic how even when given a chance to include minorities in film, Hollywood prefers the underrepresentation of them instead.  

In this scenario, we see how Hollywood's problem with diversity arises. It is not simply a bias against minorities we see in Hollywood. It is Hollywood's blatant infatuation with the underrepresentation and over-generalization of minorities as well. When given a chance to use minorities, the majority of roles given to people of color are highly stereotypical and rarely ever a role individualized, in comparison to white actors. 

This problem with diversity lies not in the endless amount of casting directors hiring white actors over more qualified colored actors, the problem in diversity lies also within the white actors and actresses being hired simply because of their skin color. The lack of of outrage on the side of the white actors is both outrageous and sadly expected. Actors should side with their own, and be vocal about injustices occurring within their own institutions. Actors should start turning down roles that blatantly use whitewashing as a technique to sell. Change will never be as effective unless it comes from within the industry itself. 

What we really see is the discrimination and racism manifesting in areas of society not so readily noticeable. The true danger of modern racism is that it hides itself within institutions, such as film, so the oppressors can deny its existence at the expense of minorities. Because blatantly exhibited racism is not accepted in our society anymore, it hides itself within the cracks and corners of our society causing even more destruction than before. We can turn to film to realize these issues, and to face them head on. Once we see true peace and equality in our society, Hollywood will follow suit and the diversity issue will cease to exist. Until then, however, Hollywood will stay behind its time at the expense of people of color worldwide.


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