Thursday, March 24, 2011

Diversity in Hollywood 2011 and Beyond

Yes there is a big diversity problem as there has ever been in Hollywood. I personally started my company to try in my little way to combat that. Hence the mission of 'Nother Brother Entertainment is "To further propagate diverse images through development of films."

I was tired of seeing substandard television in particular featuring African Americans ...something I have been keenly following for about 20 years now and I totally agree with the excerpts below.

Below is an excerpt from the editorial "SURVEY – It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up! (About That “Hollywood Whiteout” Problem)-February 24th, 2011" at the great website Shadow & Act

Loooong time readers of Shadow And Act will be familiar with what follows below – initially posted on May 29th, 2009, almost 2 years ago, and only about a month after Shadow And Act was launched. Seems like an eternity. But it’s been a fun ride.

In light of recent articles and the conversations that they inspired, I thought I’d repost it as, in effect, my response to all the noise. I’m referring specifically to the New York Times article titled Hollywood Whiteout, by Mahnola Dargis and A.O. Scott, that was printed on February 11th. ...

That article was sent to me by several of you, wondering if I would respond to it on S&A, but I really have had no interest in doing so. It seems like an annual occurrence now – mainstream media articles are written lamenting/criticizing/analyzing the film industry’s “diversity problem.” We all share them, discuss them, etc, but, ultimately, little, if anything, actually changes… until the next year, when the cycle only repeats itself and another batch of “Hollywood Whiteout”-style pieces are written, shared, discussed, and so on.

So… what I see and hear here is just more of the same – a lot of analysis, criticism and whining, with little actual action to go along with it. And I’m over that! I also see a lot of reaction instead of proaction. The New York Times (or some other mainstream media site) pens a critique of the film industry’s so-called diversity problem, written by whites usually, and we all jump… because it’s the New York Times. Meanwhile, here on Shadow And Act, we’ve been talking about this sh** forever; and not only just talking about it, there’s actually action to support all the talk! Eff the New York Times! I don’t need them to tell me that there’s a diversity problem! Do you? Isn’t it evident? Hasn’t it been evident since the medium was invented? We’re certainly not the first to have these discussions. Our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents had the exact same discussions.
Written by Tambay-Shadow & Act read the entire editorial and excellent discussion (in their comments section) at their website here

I don't have much more to say than those sections I excerpted above. IT HAS been the same ol’ song and things probably won’t change that much. We just have to do what we can to ensure that our stories are being told. There have been success stories like the independent film I Will Follow (Read more about that here  and the return of a cancelled show (which NEVER happens) The Game (Read more about that here  )

Ultimately I recently came to the realization that as much as WE (African Americans) want to see our images and stories on the screen so do THEY (Caucasians) and they control the studios, distribution etc.

I have tried to explain distribution and give light to a new distribution model for African American films at the links below.
Why Distribution is Important

The NEW Black distribution model

I also post many articles at our sister blog Cool Black Media
Lack of Diversity at Oscars 2011

African Americans at the Oscars

UPDATE: April 8, 2011-I posted a follow up Diversity in Hollywood 2011 and Addendum

Finally, I also agree with what Roland Martin and Anthony Mackie said below.


UPDATE: April 8, 2011-I posted a follow up Diversity in Hollywood 2011 and Addendum

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