We’ve seen an interesting new chain reaction on award shows lately: Women calling out the lack of diversity in the film business, and in general. Not that the diversity in Hollywood issue hasn’t been ubiquitous in the media, including calls from those in the industry to do something about it. But with new evidence out this week that women in Hollywood aren’t making any gains in the movie industry in the last year, there also seems to be some deliberate sabotage.
But why should there be saboteurs in creating diversity for women in movies, TV, or any field? When you consider the amount of female talent in the movies right now, there’s a potential for a major renaissance in gender diversity like never before seen. Then again, that may be the very nature behind why it’s being stifled.
It’s not that there isn’t power behind the recent calls for diversity. When actress supreme Jessica Chastain called for more diversity in movies at the SAG Awards this last January, it was applauded from the outset. Internally, on social media, it was a different story. She was ultimately attacked on Twitter in a way that even shocked those who know how many cretins exist online. The attacks against Chastain were either by those who thought you shouldn’t spout social causes on award shows, or it was a chunk of normally sane America proving how divided we really are.
So which was it? While you’ll find some people who think spouting important causes in public forums is an archaic idea, what more important issue is there than diversity in film? If we’ve seen more than our share of political statements at the Oscars and award shows, the majority of them were hardly to help the film industry.
Chastain bravely made her diversity statements to the people who really matter: Her fellow actors at the SAGs. Then again, perhaps the Oscars would have been a better forum where the entire industry is listening in.
Cut to Patricia Arquette and her diversity statements at the Oscars after winning Best Supporting Actress. Her comments drew the ire of women of color because they didn’t think it spoke to them. It’s too bad it was forgotten that Viola Davis also called out the lack of diversity on the same night Chastain did at the SAG Awards.
In reality, all women of color are coming out and speaking about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. And we’ll probably see more of this to come from some of the greatest actresses extant. When you see Meryl Streep adamantly standing up for Patricia Arquette’s comments at the Oscars, you know it has the backing of Hollywood’s acting elite.
Regardless, where are the A-list male actors calling this out? Is the real problem in America setting a male dominance in certain fields that go back to the beginnings of early America?
When you consider Hollywood is well over 100 years old now, the passing of torches with males running the town has never waned. An institution with more than a century in operation is going to have an assembly line structure that makes sure a status quo stays maintained. It’s perhaps exactly what’s happened now in Hollywood, with all evidence coming from the old, white men problem that was revealed in the Oscar voting academy a few years ago.
These were the offspring of Hollywood’s founders, and they have children who are likely upholding the male dominance. The only question is whether they’ll pass it on to their grandchildren just now graduating from high school.
Even though the voices speaking out on diversity should never give up, the real answer is probably waiting out time. The old, white demographic likely won’t be living in another five to 10 years. At that point, it’s a matter of whether the offspring continue the dominance or if the grandchildren let diversity happen organically. It’s all ready to happen once those in power give opportunities while hiring.
Considering Millennials are the next ones taking the torch in Hollywood, you have to think they have a different frame of mind as they do with a lot of things. By that time, actresses like Jessica Chastain will be middle-aged and finally enjoying the emerging concept of hiring older actresses as leads in movies. She may finally be acting alongside a racially and gender diverse cast dominating every movie rather than all one race or gender to please a demographic.