The conversation about diversity in Hollywood is coming from all angles — the lack of racial and ethnic diversity and gender diversity, to name a few — and how when power is concentrated, it leads to the kinds of industry-wide harassment and abuse that we are now reckoning with. Its's an important topic that is on everyone's minds, and hearing people relate to their own lives has been healthy, refreshing, and inspiring. The more we talk about these issues, the more we figure out solutions.
That said, there are going to be missteps. Actress and activist Rose McGowan admitted as much herself. And when those missteps occur, people are going to be compelled to speak out. Today, the Los Angeles Times unveiled the cover of their latest issue of The Envelope, their Hollywood and awards season magazine. It features six actresses: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Diane Kruger, Annette Bening, Kate Winslet, and Jessica Chastain — all of whom are white. The Times' actors roundtable earlier this year included actors who are all white as well.
Twitter immediately pounced on the Times cover as tone-deaf at best, and racist at worst. Users questioned why, in this moment of #MeToo (which was coined by Black activist Tarana Burke), at this time when the topic of diversity is so salient and potent, did the Times not consider racial diversity to be just as important?
There were jokes, of course, but the jokes serve to underpin a very serious point: no conversation about diversity can take place without inviting a diverse group to the table to speak.
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