There is a lot of discussion at the moment, around the lack of diversity in many films and TV shows. There are people all over the place trying to argue why there is not better diversity in our stories. I think, the answer is down to more than just some rich-tycoon big-wig calling all the shots about who is and is not cast in a particular show. I think the answer to better diversity, first starts with the writing!
There are some amazing writers out there producing some incredible works of fiction. Screenwriters, play-rights, authors and writers alike, have been continuing to push our conceptions on what fictional stories are able to offer. An original plot should be the ultimate prick-tease. It should offer you everything but provide you with very little until you are ready to fully commit to it. Plot lines can take months of planning, writing and re-writing. And that is before you have even written any actual dialogue or substance.
To have a plot of course, you must have characters. And it is here, where I wish to make my first point. When writing, the characters created will have a unique bond with the writer who made them. When they have been written, has the colour of their skin even been thought about by the writer? Is there a specific characteristic which, mentions the colour of their skin? I just cannot understand why, a writer would not push for better diversity. I appreciate I am a complete novice, but I have 1 fantasy novella and another concept in the works, both of which, have people of all shapes and colour. It is not hard to do.
An argument to my opinion will be that it has nothing to do with the writing and it is all down to casting. But I think the character profiling could be improved upon. The issue with Hollywood is that it is a ‘business’. Until recently, television had become quite lazy. It was the same kind of shows being made with the same kind of characters. Now it has some of the best stuff in years being produced and Hollywood is left lagging behind.
A good example of what I am trying to say is this: Ghostshell was recently released starring Scarlett Johansson in the main lead role. This, I believe is a popular anime series. With this being it’s origin, there was uproar from fans over a white woman gaining the lead role, rather than an Asian woman. At first, I thought the same. But then I tried to take a more diplomatic look at it? Maybe, Scarlett was the best woman for the role? She is after all, a good actress. The scepticism in me though, says that she was cast in this role because there are virtually no Asian Hollywood actresses well known enough to play this leading role. And when you are producing a movie on this scale, you need an actress people have heard of to go and see it. And right there, is the sticking block.
Hollywood has been a grotesquely in-diverse place for years. It has not quite managed to modernise itself in that regard but I do believe, that sort this issue out once and for all. It starts with the WRITERs. After all, without us you would have bugger all to watch!