At the 88th Academy Awards ceremony earlier this week, comedian host Chris Rock said it the way it looked that Hollywood needs diversity, it is not inclusive! Non-white actors need greater opportunities in the film industry.
The issue became a political hotbed when no Black actors were nominated for the Oscars, they were all white. And rightly so the issue made headlines around the world that Hollywood is racist.
When it comes to unfairness in the film industry, it is nothing new from my perspective. As an actor during the 1990’s I was always cast as a terrorist or a taxi drive. And this was one of the main reasons I decided to leave the industry. I am sure things have loosened up a bit because we do now see some prominent roles being played by actors of colour, whether it might be a doctor, police officer, or something else.
And many years later when I decided to go back into the film industry for about six years behind the scenes (Set Dec), apparently I do not recall ever working with a non-white person. However, they were plenty of lesbians, but no gays, perhaps they were too afraid to come out.
How is it possible that in 2016 decision makers in Hollywood have not caught on that the makeup of the society has changed? The people who go and watch movies are not only white, but from all walks of life. And they need to represent that. The average film in theatres is usually targeted for a white male from the age of 19-21 years old, but that is no excuse not to cast actors of colour.
In many cases shows such as Cinderella often end up going directly to videos and then they are distributed to other markets around the world.
It is unfortunate that in 2016 we are still talking about lack of diversity in Hollywood. And let’s hope that in the coming years all actors are given equal opportunities so they can showcase their unique talents to the masses.