Diversity In Hollywood

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It took decades of struggle and ignorance, but in today’s world, the public acknowledges that the lack of diversity is an issue that should be addressed. Lack of diversity spans in all fields and professions, but one profession with this issue that hasn’t been paid enough attention until recently, despite the ironic fact that their work is often seen by a large part of the country, is the entertainment industry. This industry has lacked proportional representation of people of color for a long time, and since Hollywood is so inclusive, this issue has perpetuated up until today. While much research has focused on lack of diversity in general, this paper will focus on issues facing Asians in the industry specifically. Some argue that this lack…show more content…
In movies with mainly all-white casts, they argue that colored actors can’t play certain roles because it wouldn’t be realistic in the time period. Julian Fellowes, the creative director of Downton Abbey, has an opinion that many directors would likely agree with, saying that he aimed to be historically accurate and believable for his production set in 1900 Folkestone, England (Singh). In this case, their perspective may be understandable for the period film that they are creating, but directors should not be allowed to hide behind this excuse if the TV show or movie is set in modern day. Fellowes continues to add to his perspective, questioning why more colored actors couldn’t play roles where color was irrelevant (Singh). Race-neutral roles such as police officers, doctors, or neighbors can be played by any race, and colored actors certainly should have an equal shot at landing the…show more content…
This phenomenon where non-white characters are played as white actors is unfortunately so common that it has its own name: whitewashing. The audience only sees the finished product, so often times people aren’t aware of the intended original character. Therefore, people often aren’t able to gauge the frequency and extent to which whitewashing has occurred and continues to occur. One prime example is a well-loved American classic that is a household name: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. When thinking of the movie most people will think about Audrey Hepburn’s performance as Holly Golightly or George Peppard’s role as Paul Varjak, but rarely do people think about Mr. Yunioshi, played by Mickey Rooney, who is very much a white man. In the movie, Rooney plays old Japanese man by speaking in an extreme Asian accent, unable to correctly pronounce any word with an “l” in it; wearing enormous prosthetic teeth to create a bucktooth effect; and to top it off, having exaggerated squinty eyes, created by taping down the eyelids of course (Media Action Network for Asian Americans). Some may argue that his racist performance was somewhat acceptable due to the context of the time period in which the film was released, but that doesn’t excuse the poor decision to include the blatantly racist role. In addition, even though the film was released half a century

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