Hollywood Proves To Be More Diverse — But It's Still Not Enough
There is no question that Hollywood is flawed and that includes its awards. Ageism, sexism, and racism are on the forefront of many minds and the topic is a reflection of who is making movies, who is cast in starring roles, and who or who isn't being nominated when award season comes around. Many fights are underway to make Hollywood a fair and equitable place for all. Spike Lee may become the first black person to win the best director Oscar, and only five women have been nominated. Ava DuVernay is the only black woman who has ever been nominated for best director. Halle Berry remains the only black woman who has ever won the best actress Oscar.
While we are starting to see the awards open more to black men, there is a long way to go before any of the top awards can truly claim they are inclusive or diverse. This is a spiral trend as there need to be more top-grossing movies featuring diverse casts and directors to achieve nominations then actually win them.
If the racial disparity isn't enough, there are many other situations where prejudice or bigotry can enter. Why are heterosexuals playing gays when there are gay actors needing work? If the road has been paved a bit for blacks, it's only beginning to open up for Asians. How many studios are truly willing to cast seniors in starring roles?
It's a money game, pure and simple. When a studio is willing to take the risk, it's a one-shot deal. If the money doesn't pour in, if people fail to get out and support the film, you can bet your last dollar it will be decades before a similar film is made.
There is no question that 2019 has proved, all in all, to be a very inclusive year; though it's far from perfect. Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians are both nominated films, but when you consider Hollywood's century-year-old studio history, never forget that progress is moving at a snail's pace.
While we celebrate the diversity seen in many of the nominees this year, don't lose resolve. Don't fail to support the movies you want to see by seeing them in theaters.
Whether a film like Wonder Woman that opens the door to women directors and puts women in super-hero roles or the Ryan Coogler directed Black Panther that revolutionized the way blacks are portrayed in films, there is more work to be done. This is only the beginning.