FILM GUIDELINES IN PLACE TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY, INCLUSION

 LURA AJDINI, STAFF WRITER

“In Hollywood, It’s a Men’s, Men’s, Men’s World,” according to the New York Times. In addition to not representing women, Hollywood has not represented people of color and minorities unless they were men, according to the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Diversity Report.

The report showed a detailed representation of the numbers of people working in front and on the back of stages. It also showed an increase in female directors and people of color. 

“There’s been quite some progress on minorities and people of color in terms of characters, the actors who represent the characters, but even the kinds of stories that are told,” Joyce Boss, professor of English and co-director of multicultural and diversity studies at Wartburg, said. “One of the biggest problems however, from a consumer and somewhat analyst point of view, has been the area of directorship.”

In 2017, 87.4% of directors were white, while only 12.6% were non-white, the UCLA study found. Hollywood has received backlash due to the underrepresentation of women and people of color and differences in salary.

“It’s not a secret that up until fairly recently and even to the present day, the film industry is, in fact, pretty male dominated and it is white heterosexual male point of view dominated,” Boss said. “The representation of women is not that much different from the stereotypical representation of women as goals or objects for the hero, or the protagonist character to attain.”

The film industry has also faced backlash from celebrities during award shows and on social media, for poor representation of diversity. During the 2018 Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey made a speech as she received the Cecil B. deMille Award. Winfrey specifically addressed women, people of color and victims of abuse to fight for their rights and not be afraid to share their stories. 

“In particular what I care about is that when we begin a film studies program, [is that] we’re diverse. However when we graduate, there’s less diversity and it tends to be predominantly white males that are moving into the industry,” Ronald Johnson, an executive in residence in the Department of Journalism & Communication, said. “Along the way there are all kinds of little messages that are saying your voice isn’t welcome, and that’s what we’re trying to change.”

For more information on the UCLA study, go to social.sciences.ucla.edu. 

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