After last week’s episode about workplace inequality pegged to Lea Michele and her behaviour on Glee (and on other projects), we received an email from a listener called Ashley who wondered whether or not, on top of the fact that Hollywood, like most industries, prioritises earnings above everything else, including physically and mentally safe work conditions, it selects specifically for problematic people, believing that those qualities are just a by-product of talent.
It’s an interesting question, applicable to any business, and takes us to fashion, in the form of Anna Wintour, and tech, in the form of Steve Jobs.
But before any bad behaviour can happen on set, it always starts with the story. What are the creative barriers to diversity in storytelling, in the writers’ room, in the publishing industry? During this time of civil unrest, it’s important to understand that while the immediate goal of the Black Lives Matter protests is about saving lives, it’s also about SEEING lives. Black and Indigenous people are being discriminated against because, in part, their stories are not shared, their experiences not valued. And the creative class has a responsibility to amplify all stories in the culture, not just the straight white ones.
As Black writers are challenging Hollywood to stop with the bullsh-t excuses that they just can’t find anyone with the experience and as media companies all across the US and Canada are being confronted with their biased hiring, Duana and I discuss on this episode why diversity has to be immersive, because what we’re probably going to start seeing soon is tokenism as a quick fix.
Oh and by the way, Insecure seems to be doing just fine with their talent pool, staffing its writers’ room with an inclusive, representative team and hiring diverse creatives in front of and behind the camera.
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