Why The Entertainment Industry Needs Diversity
Women make up half the US population, and minorities make up around 40 percent, but film fans wouldn’t know that based on the movies that come out of Hollywood. According to the Brookings Institute, minorities will make up more than half of people living in the United States by 2045. Despite these numbers, and despite the fact that audiences prefer to see more diverse representation in movies, Hollywood consistently shortchanges these populations.
People of color have been either caricatured or left out altogether since the film industry’s beginnings. In early films, African Americans could only snag roles as one-dimensional characters if they were cast at all. Larger roles were reserved for white actors. Blackface was common in movies with minority characters. Some of Hollywood’s best known early films featured white actors playing minority roles.
The story of women’s inclusion is a little different. There was a time during Hollywood’s Golden Age when women were so powerful that many said they owned the shining movie mecca. Bette Davis was sometimes called “the Fourth Warner” in reference to her power at the major studio. However, women still had to navigate a boys’ club mentality. By 1950, the industry became segregated by gender and women were ultimately pushed out of nearly every powerful position, confined to playing the helpless damsel role for decades.
Hollywood has seen stop-start improvements over the years. The #TheOscarsSoWhite movement recently triggered major studios to improve diversity in their casting. While the efforts at promoting movies featuring people of color in the cast have paid off at the box office, the problems begin behind the scenes where representation is downright dismal. Women and minorities combined for just under 30 percent of directing credits in 2019, and just over 30 percent of writing credits. People of color held a meager seven percent of all senior executive positions, and only 20 percent of them were women.
Why the industry needs diversity
Hollywood has long had a diversity problem and its deep-rooted misogyny and xenophobia may not be eradicated soon. Studios recognize that they need more diversity within the audience’s view, so they have worked at expanding casting to be more inclusive. The people behind the scenes, however, are just as important.
These are the storytellers, crafters, and the people who make decisions about what content gets produced. The fact that the voices shaping our culture are still overwhelmingly white and male is damaging to both the entertainment industry and society. When we only have access to media that was created through the lens of people who do not fully represent us, our self-image becomes tainted by their culturally limited assumptions. Why would anyone want to watch redundant sequels, remakes and franchise movies when they provide us little with which to identify?
The fact that the most popular films of 2019 were more inclusive is a testament to the fact that consumers want deeper representation. It certainly helps to see more people of color and women on the screen, but the work doesn’t end there. If diversity in a cast can bring more people to the box office, imagine the enthusiasm and support to be garnered by more content written, created, produced, directed and performed by minorities and women.
Creating a More Diverse Entertainment Industry
Filmio is in a position to transform the way society interacts with the film industry by moving the whole process of creating and producing to a platform whose opportunities remain blind to race, gender, religion or cultural identity. Filmio does not care who a creator knows or where she is from. If she has access to the internet and a story, she will have a place to share it, develop it and obtain funding to produce it.
The Filmio Decentralized Platform (FDP) is democratizing the film industry and putting control into the hands of the people. Users around the world have access to all the content that gets loaded, and the most popular stories are the ones that will get financed. When people start seeing themselves represented in movies and TV shows, there will be a resurgence in fan enthusiasm, and the film medium will finally take its place as an uplifting voice rather than a disconnected judge.
When we seize control of the film industry from major corporations and put it in the hands of the people, the possibilities become endless. The more people who join the FDP, the more diverse the platform becomes. Viewpoints from every culture will be expressed for humanity to share, with input and feedback coming from all around the world—and you can be a part of it.
Get early access to our platform and join the transformation now. Ask questions and keep in touch with developers in our Telegram group. Like and follow our Facebook page to connect with other members and make your voice heard. With Filmio, we can truly give everyone an equal opportunity for expression.