Diversity in Hollywood

The issue of diversity in Hollywood is being discussed again with the recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy as well as the casting of a white actor to play Michael Jackson in a British TV show; it seems with all the controversy, one has to ask how this is still happening. I argue that this is a symptom of all our other social and political strife.

With the massive wealth gap, corporations not paying their fair share of taxes, and rampant CEO pay there simply isn't enough money getting to American creators. Without money trickling down to average Americans, diverse Americans, there simply isn't enough money for the average filmmaker, the aspiring production company to fund their passion projects. Minimum wage doesn't fund your dreams and investors are a hard sell when it comes to newbies. So without these diverse creators making their films, exploring their unique viewpoints on life, the place for diverse performers also diminishes to whatever Big Hollywood has going on.

Hollywood, much like TV, is now a massive entity ruled by a handful, surrounded by a giant pool of aspiring creatives hoping someone will grab their hand and save them from the endless struggle. Because, take SAG actors for instance, I've heard, anecdotally, from an acting instructor that only the top 2% of SAG actors are people are "very successful" (i.e. people you've heard of) and 10% are people making a living; that's 88 - 90% of people trying to compete for what probably amounts to a handful of jobs, many of them scraps. These numbers may be wrong, it's possible they are too conservative as it's unclear if non-union actors are even part of these figures since they are often viewed as "aspiring actors."

If we could get more money into the hands of these truly independent creators, we'd likely see an uptick in interesting, unique, and diverse films. If that model, that "experiment," is seen as successful, Hollywood would likely try to follow suit.