Diversity in Hollywood is imperative, point blank period. The most recent report by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) shows that Hollywood is finally starting to catch up to the rest of the US, diversity-wise.
The percentage of women and minorities working in the entertainment business has increased from 1999 to 2009, from 20% to 25% and 38% to 45% respectively. However, these numbers still reflect Hollywood’s old ways.
Hollywood’s problem is that it has historically always been an overwhelmingly white place.
But the world has changed, and the films need to reflect that. In order to create better films, the industry needs more diverse actors which reflects a diverse America. Here are six reasons why Hollywood needs more diversity.
The World Is More Diverse Therefore Diversity In Hollywood Should Reflect That
The world’s population is much more diverse than it was a generation ago. The proportion of women in the labor force in the United States has grown rapidly.
In 2000, 23.4 percent of people were born in other countries while 48.5 percent of people in the United States speak a language other than English at home.
Diversity, regarding race and ethnicity, is a vital place to start when speaking on diversity. Hollywood is primarily white. The 2020 Hollywood Diversity Report done by UCLA NewsRoom showed that the top-grossing movies of the year had the least diverse casts, with less than 11% being minorities.
How could a country that is so diverse have movies that do not reflect that? As this country continues with its diverse growth, the entertainment industry needs to start reflecting that before the lack of inclusion has detrimental effects.
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Diversity In Hollywood Could Lead To More Profitable Projects
Hollywood spends a lot of money on casting. Choosing actors for a project is a matter of business. The success of a film depends on a mix of things, one of which is the cast. Diversity in casting allows for more versatility from the actor and relatability from the audience.
A study published in 2005 by researchers at Ohio State, Carnegie Mellon, and Rutgers found that films with more diverse casts performed better with audiences in general, not just minorities. Films with more diverse casts tended to bring larger audiences into the theater that do not often go.
Audiences want to be able to relate to what they’re watching. When every film and TV show only caters to a white audience, minorities feel there is no reason to indulge in this form of entertainment.
This ends up losing a lot of money for Hollywood because of an untapped market. When Hollywood tries something new and adds perspectives that allow for diversity, there happens to be more sales and a new audience reached.
Diversity In Hollywood Is Not Just About Race
The classic way to think about diversity is in terms of race, sex, and class. However, diversity is also about culture, ethnicity, political beliefs, age, and religion. Each of these groups contains people who look, act and think in different ways.
In diversity, as in other fields, it isn’t necessary to specialize. The diversity principle is not just about race. Sometimes, it is better to focus on a small set of topics than to cover everything. And some things, like race, are objectively important.
A second way to think about diversity is in terms of the different types of people in our world. The diversity principle asserts that we need different types of people; one type can think up new ideas, another can implement them, and a third can test them.
In Hollywood, it is important to have these types of people to be able to relate to and give new ideas for the industry. Diversity can mean a lot of things on and off-screen for the entertainment industry.
Diversity In Hollywood Helps Educate On Minority Disproportionalities
The world is a more complicated place than what is just shown on the surface. It requires numerous perspectives that are based not just on race, but on class, gender, sexuality, and nationality.
These perspectives must be constantly questioned and reevaluated as the world changes. It can be difficult to learn these new perspectives and about the changing world. This is why diversity is so important.
Without diversity, many are exposed to only one point of view. Then, there is no way for them to discover the other points of view that coexist in the world.
Diversity is an opportunity for education. Hollywood is a huge platform to speak on these matters. Hollywood movies reach audiences across the world and can give a broader context of issues related to certain groups. Therefore, diversity can lead to larger viewpoints being spread.
Diversity In Hollywood Will Lead to Versatility in Actors
Diversity creates better actors. People of diverse communities can fulfill roles of all genres. When there is only one kind of actor, for example, a white male, not every role or idea can be fulfilled.
Allowing actors of all backgrounds the same opportunities as these white movie stars can create versatility in their performance and in the film itself.
For the most part, roles in most films do not have a specific racial category, which means there is room for minorities to play roles that were considered conventionally white roles.
The Bottom Line Is Strengthened By Diversity
Hollywood is obsessed with the bottom line. The definition of their bottom line is to make money, mostly in ways that they already know. The entertainment industry will do anything to strengthen its bottom line.
Diversity can change the meer definition of the bottom line and cultivate the new ways it impacts this industry. This would be through new plots for films that have never been fully discussed in the industry, adding more diversity with a new audience, allowing for traditional white roles to be played by people of color, and changing the concept that minorities in film/television have to feed into stereotypes.
Most roles for people of color are roles that stem from their group’s stereotype. However, changing which “category” somebody fits into opens opportunities for new roles and brings new ideas which will bring more money.
In the end, Hollywood needs diversity just as badly as it needs actors. Diversity will allow the entertainment industry to flourish in ways that it has been suppressing for so long. This country continues to grow and become more diverse. It would make sense that the entertainment industry resembles this.