J.J Abrams steps up and diversifies.

J.J Abrams of Star Trek and Star Wars fame is stepping up his diversity game .  Inspired by the second year in a row of controversy surrounding the lack of melanin in the Oscars nominees, Abrams is moving towards a more inclusive casting experience.

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Look at how diverse that lens flare is!

This year, roles like Idris Elba’s in Beasts of No Nation and Michael B Jordan’s turn as Creed went unacknowledged, prompting the resurgence of the old hashtag. Prominent actors began to speak out against the problem and formed a boycott. Chris Rock completely rewrote his Oscars monologue. And amidst all of this turmoil the question at the top of the list was “how do we fix this.”

Now certainly these snubs which have come from an academy that is overwhelmingly white, male, and old have to be addressed. However another major point brought to light has been the lack of Oscar Award worthy roles for actors of color. You can’t win for roles that don’t exist. If you’re always playing a stereotype you’ll definitely be ignored for the big league awards.

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And the Oscar goes to… Black guy for his portrayal as pissed off Gang member number 1!

So J.J Abrams and his team have a plan. The want to make their films look like America looks, in front of AND behind the screen.

Abrams, who also produced the latest Star Trek movies, isn’t just talking about finding a few token actors: he’s directed the casting agency that works with his production agency, Bad Robot, to send him lists of people — writers, producers, directors — who are proportionally representative to the U.S. population.

“Any list that we have for projects, it needs to be representative of this country.”

Not only is this a big development in the fight for equal representation in Hollywood, Abrams will likely see more money at the box office for his effort as diverse films make more money.

This move hits all the right notes that many people may slip up on. It’s not just the “casting of the show” as fool Matt Damon would tell us. In front of the screen is only part of the issue, getting a diverse writing and production staff is another huge fight as those positions have been whitewashed since the beginning of film. Most of the time that’s forgotten but Abrams is going out of his way to be decent in a Hollywood that’s extremely racist. Kudos and fist bump to you sir.

Thanks for reading!
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jj-abrams-diversity-in-film_us_56d86d3ce4b0ffe6f8e860dc

Why Diversity in films Matters for everyone. AKA BOYCOTTEXODUS

Before I get into why it matters for EVERYONE (especially you money makers) I’d like to start with a tweet.

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I know I’ve briefly touched on diversity in films in the past but this development has me diving back into the subject.

So a few days ago Rupert Murdoch decided to tweet something. I assume when his old wrinkly thumbs were moving across his blackberry screen he was clear-headed and not at all inebriated. But the tweet he sent out was ridiculous nonetheless. A tweet claiming that all the Egyptians he knew were white so whats the big deal about having an all white cast……for a movie filmed….. in Africa. While I don’t doubt uncle money bags only knows white people in Egypt. Your tiny little club of people you know in Egypt clearly doesn’t represent the entire country. And oh I’m sorry it’s not an all white cast, How silly of me. Here let’s see the cast.

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So…the main characters, the kings and queens. Those can be white, but for the slaves and assassins, now we have to be realistic. If all of the Egyptians Murdoch knows are white, why isn’t he complaining that the servants aren’t white as well? Blatant racism and whitewashing is why this film has been facing a boycott since its inception. #Boycottexodus is a pretty huge movement as minorities are tired of getting the old “heave-ho” whenever big productions feel like it. Which leads us to some very interesting statistics about diversity in film. Here are a few stats about Race and Hollywood based on a study done at UCLA.

Graph creater race Graph Creator graph leadThe lack of minority representation has always been known, but sometimes it’s good to actually see it. It’s actually sickening.  But here’s the GOOD news. Because of things like boycotts and people in general just being tired of this mess. There seems to be an upswing in people going to see films and tv shows with higher minority representation. This comes through in data obtained by

Movies with higher minority representation(21-30%) posted $160.1 million in global box office receipts in 2011. Films with lower Minority involvement(less than 10%) made just $68.5 million. That’s 91.6 million dollars MORE just for doing something you should be doing ANYWAY. I mean asinine, archaic Hollywood casting practices aside, the data is very clear. By being bigoted you are losing money Hollywood. Here’s the full report. See that’s why it matters for everyone, everyone makes more money, A LOT more money in the end. So do the right thing. Diversify your talent, your creators, your directors, hell diversify the agents at the agencies that represent these people. Watch your profits (which have been steadily dropping) soar.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Bell