There’s an uproar over race in Hollywood. I’m not talking about some runner’s marathon. I’m talking about ethnic race. Each race is not getting enough attention when it comes to movie roles. Now let’s step back and leave our emotions outside as we look further into this.
The Early Years of Movie Making
I think we all can agree that in the early years of movie making that it was a white world. It made sense since most of the wealth was held in the hands of the whites and it was only a few years since slavery had been dissolved. Society was not ready for complete equality yet. It would take years before that would happen on levels that made a large impact.
As for actors, it was hard for many in the industry to work with those of another color. Eventually, minorities were able to get small roles in film with several making major breakthroughs that would lead to the leading roles of today. We salute them! But it was hard for them and they were very few in number.
Note: I’m not just talking about those categorized as black. That includes anyone not considered white: Hispanic, Asian, Indian, or African descent. In those days, one drop of any non European blood would place one in the non-white category.
Our society has changed over the years despite what many proclaim. We don’t blink an eye at a minority in the leading role. We see a mix of races at Hollywood gatherings. They might not be as mixed as many would like, but society has come a long way and still has a ways to go. It is not officially exclusive, but non official actions can be powerful.
In fact, you can look at the popular movies over the years to watch how much our culture has changed. Now you have mixed race couples on the screen. You have families with different ethnic groups making up the various members. Our culture has changed to include more diversity. It might not be where you think it should be, but it has come a long way just in my lifetime. It might not be where it should be period, but there has been progress.
The problem with many in our society is that they like to cry wolf too often. They see where they can get leverage and they use it. They also make it hard for those who are crying out for real. Remember when there was a series of sexual harassment claims that were made in the 90’s? Many of them were real, but some women took advantage of the public’s opinion and falsely accused men so they could have power over them.
Too many women using the system to their advantage hurt those who really needed the help. I strongly believe that every claim should be taken seriously, but it has to be realized that some people just lie. Sad to say, but true.
Now, how does this relate? Maybe too many people are crying out that there is prejudice when there isn’t. Don’t yell at me quite yet! Is there prejudice? Yes. I hate to admit that, but too many do look down on others of different ethnic backgrounds. To be honest, there will always be as long as people breath. Why? Because there will always be someone who doesn’t like someone else for whatever reason. Fact of life. If race wasn’t a factor, it would be religion, hair color, or gender. Mankind will find a reason to hate.
Remember that there are two sides to every story. Very few times is something as one-sided as it is presented, especially by the press and the parties claiming injury. The media might say that a person was denied a role because of their color. What we don’t know is the full story.
There is always more to the story even when it seems pretty simple. Yes, that person might be of minority descent, but the reason for the denial was the fact that the actor had a bad attitude and demanded too much for the role. Then the actor could claim that it was their race in order to get sympathy.
Then there are the liars who deny an actor a role because of their race and call it something else. Let’s me honest. We really can’t trust the media. They will spin their story in the direction they want you to go.
Is Hollywood keeping minorities from their full potential? I don’t think it can be answered simply. The answer is yes and no. To say that every single person ignores race in their decisions would be foolish to say. To say that everyone only chooses their own race is also wrong. There are people who discriminate. I don’t know if we’ll ever eradicate it, but I also don’t know if we can say everyone does it.
I think the biggest problem is the media. The media is very loud and likes to paint the picture it wants. Usually that is one sided with much of the truth hidden behind well-crafted images. If they want the public to panic about something, they will make sure all their articles take a slant to make you panic even if the information is deceptive without lying outright.
Now that being said, I’m sure there are many acts of discrimination going on. There is always someone who will dislike someone because of their skin color, religion, or anything else they decide to use to stand against someone. I don’t think we’ll ever entirely rid the world of it as long as humans exist. But does the problem exist in such a wide range as the media makes it out to be? I honestly don’t believe so. Like anything, the media can make it as important as they want it to be.
Too bad, we can’t get the full truth out there without the media giving it a slant that twists it to their own agenda. We are at the mercy of the media which can slant it any which way it wants. It’s up to us to look through the lens and adjust the focus. It is also up to us to change the world.