Diversity in the Oscars

Hey guys, have no fear! A young white man is here to solve all the film industry’s diversity woes.

Just kidding.

When stuff like this crops up (see also: Black Lives Matter, the Redskins, equal pay for women in film, basically everything you’ve seen on Facebook over the last five years), I do what comfortable people in the majority should do: I shut up and listen. It’s awesome! You should try it. Because you’re making the rest of us white people look really, really bad. And you’re making social media even more unpleasant than usual.

THAT BEING SAID, I have some thoughts I’d like to share, but only regarding the goalposts of the argument. I agree with the complaints that have been levied against the Academy and the industry. How could I not? Luckily we live in a world where people compile data about issues like this and share it with the public. It makes it so easy to be right, and it makes people who continue to say things are otherwise look even more foolish.

It bothers me that so much of the focus is just on the nominations. The counterarguments are all too easy and in the vein of anti-affirmative-action, which is well-worn territory for those who are happy with the status quo. It’s not about making sure we nominate more people of color. That’s a band-aid over a gunshot wound. It’s about making sure there are more performances from minorities that we can choose from in the first place. That’s the very definition of diversity: more choices. Because now all people have to say is “well, who got snubbed?” And we point to maybe five people who could’ve been considered among all the categories. Or “I think people should just get nominated based on talent but that’s none of my business.” Of course that’s true, and no one would say otherwise. But when the doors are only open for a certain kind of person, when only particular types of stories are being told, the talent available is all going to bear a certain resemblance to itself. The way the conversation is going right now, it’s like complaining about our Netflix not working because the house is on fire.

And holy crap you guys, look at the stats for directors. It’s mind blowing.

Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he’s an actor and writer.


I'm an actor and writer living in NYC with my wife, son, dog, and cat. I'm older than I look. http://colinfisher.net

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