Mixing It Up

Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Lack of Diversity

To this day, I do not understand why there is still a lack of diversity in American popular culture, more specifically, the film industry. Sure, there are diverse backgrounds represented, but most of the times these people aren’t given lead roles. The United States is a country where people of all identities contribute socially, economically, and politically. Statistics show that Latinos buy 1 in 4 tickets every single weekend. In 2016, Latinos also bought 21% of movie tickets, but in 2016’s top 100 films, only 3.1% of speaking characters in films were Latinos. Similarly, black actors and actresses aren’t rare in films, however they still don’t often obtain lead roles as much as they should. This past weekend, Marvel’s FIRST black superhero film, Black Panther, premiered. It has been a success, and it has been so hyped up for the reason that it is rare when a black person is the face of a movie. Not only did it star a black person, but Ryan Coogler also directed it. Coogler was also Marvel’s first African-American director. One film isn’t going to solve any racial issues or satisfy the need for diversity, but with more films like these, we’ll get somewhere. However, it should not be once a year when a person of color is given a lead role.

 

Pallotta, Frank. “Black Panther.” (n.d.). Black Panther is heading for a blockbuster weekend. Here’s why that matters. Retrieved February 18, 2018, from http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/16/media/black-panther-opening-box-office/index.html.

Moreno, C. (2018, January 22). Gina Rodriguez Slams Hollywood For Lack of Latino Leads. Retrieved 18, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gina-rodriguez-hollywood-latino_us_5a65fdbce4b002283004d524.

3 Comments

  1. I really hope too that this isn’t going to be the only movie that a person of color get a leading role. I feel like every time a person of color is given a leading role in a movie or television, it takes a really long time before such thing happen again. When Black Panther came out, I was super excited and was talking about in a group setting about how important it is. I talked about how movies rarely gives people of color leading roles and someone in the group brought up the point that, this ,movie will be used by majority to defend themselves whenever they are called out about representation in movies. I feel on some levels the same too. People will constantly bring up the movie as an example of representation and call it a day. One movie is not enough.

  2. I agree that there is a lack of diversity in the media and it can hurt people to not see themselves represented. Black Panther is a wonderful example where a person of color is the protagonist, and the movie had outstanding sales. Another movie that had great success was Coco. This movie had a hispanic cast and focused on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. There was a lot of Spanish spoken in the movie and the images in the movie correctly displayed the culture and tradition. The Dickinson Spanish club made it an event to go see the movie, and the Spanish speaking international students were thrilled to watch it and hear some of their native language spoken in an American film.

  3. One movie is not enough but it sure is a good starting point. I have noticed that there has been some efforts especially by artists of color where they create their own brand. For example. Insecure by Issa Rae she made that happen, started off on youtube now she is on HBO. It is high time that people of color start reclaiming their agency and making things happen for themselves.

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