This weeks lecture centred on the portrayal and accessibility of different cultures, genders, sexualities, races, disabilities and impairments. It discusses the importances to create media that welcomes a diverse audience, ensuring that people of all types have the same access to your works. The meaning I took away after reading the lecture was, to create selflessly, it’s not just about pleasing your own creative needs but also the needs of others, and the duty we have as creatives to do so. In saying that though, this power that creators have to portray various communities, can be used discouragingly, and can lead to false representations or exclusions from that media. This blog will identify areas within the film industry that I think lack in empowering a diverse attitude.
I wasn’t aware of the issues surrounding accessibility and representation of peoples, until I read this lecture and did some further research. As a regular moviegoer I wasn’t conscious of the issues surrounding race, gender, people with disabilities, sexual orientation and culture, within the film industry, but that is because I am accustomed to the visuals I see. Our society is blinded by a reiterated frame of mind that is conveyed through the movies we watch, and now I am aware.
According to the ‘2015 Hollywood Diversity Report’, conducted by the Ralph. J Bunche Centre for African America Studies at UCLA, expresses the amount of “racial and gender imbalances in film and television, both behind and in front of the camera, by comparing the representation of minorities to their actual proportions of the population”(NPR, 2015). This diagram below gives a good indication as to what extent this industry lacks diversity in regards to race.
The report goes on stating that these results are surprising, because according to box office results, diversity sells, but Hollywood is still idolising the concept of white male. However, television is far more accepting of diversity, with recent shows such as , Orange is the New Black, How to Get Away With Murder, Orphan Black, Empire and many others, featuring various cultures and peoples.
Earlier this year there was a massive uprise about their being no African-American or racial nominees at the Academy Awards. This sparked an uproar within the industry, as people were lead to believe there was heavy bias with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, however the problem at heart was within Hollywood’s big production houses and studios. At the Governs award, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African American, announced the formation of A2020, “a five-year plan in which the Academy and the studios will work on programs to ensure that top executives expand their thinking when hiring, mentoring and encouraging new talent”(Gray, 2016).
In the photo above, the people in colour are the only Oscar nominees of 2016, who are not white Americans.
In conclusion, this lecture has helped me to understand that the representation and inclusion of various cultures and communities is significant to the future of media and those cultures being portrayed but also to our future careers. How we handle inclusion and accessibility in our own works, identify’s what type or creators we strive to be. I know after doing this research and discovering the equalities within the film industry, specifically with race and gender, that I want to be selfless and strive to incorporate a diverse attitude into my practice.
Breckenridge Film Festival: We believe in diversity in film (column) | SummitDaily.com. (2016). The Summit Daily. http://www.summitdaily.com/opinion/20359069-113/breckenridge-film-festival-we-believe-in-diversity-in
Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male. (2015). NPR.org. http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/02/28/389259335/diversity-sells-but-hollywood-remains-overwhelmingly-white-male
Gray, T. (2016). Academy Nominates All White Actors for Second Year in Row. Variety. http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/oscar-nominations-2016-diversity-white-1201674903/
Saunders, T. (2016). See the Oscars luncheon photos – minus the white nominees. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/movie-news/oscars-nominees-lunch-how-many-black-people/
Season One. (2016). Orange is the New Black Wiki. http://orange-is-the-new-black.wikia.com/wiki/Season_One