These Reworked Film Posters Highlight A Problem With Diversity

It's no secret that Hollywood has a serious diversity problem – a fact brought into the spotlight by Frances McDormand's rousing acceptance speech and Jordan Peele's victory as the first ever black winner of Best Original Screenplay (in 2018) at yesterday's ceremony. The situation is similarly bleak in Britain, with just 0.5% of all lead roles in films filled by black actors between 2006 and 2016.
A recent guerrilla advertising campaign showed just how badly the TV and film industry fails to reflect the population it entertains. A group of students recreated iconic film and TV posters with black people in the lead roles, which were plastered around Brixton, south London, by a subversive advertising organisation.
The teenage activists, who go by the name Legally Black, created the mocked-up posters for Harry Potter, Titanic, Bridget Jones, The Inbetweeners, Doctor Who, Skyfall and Skins, to highlight the lack of roles for black actors and alter the way the black people are presented in the media.

the amazing @thejemmar up in brixton now?✨

A post shared by LegallyBlack (@legallyblackuk) on

"If you're surprised, it means you don't see enough black people in major roles," the tagline on the posters reads. "Join us on our mission for better black representation in the media." The posters have been praised on social media, including by Labour MP Diane Abbott, and Londoners posting photos of them online.
"The point was to highlight the lack of authentic black roles in media," Liv Francis-Cornibert, one of the teenagers involved, told the BBC. "We're not saying you have to remake Harry Potter with black actors, but it highlights the lack of black roles that aren't athletes, drug dealers or a token black friend."
Shiden Tekle, another member of the group, said he wasn't aware the posters had been picked up by the "subvertising organisation" Special Patrol Group and was shocked to see his own face on one of the posters at a south London bus stop on his way to school. "The first I knew was when I saw a poster of myself at the bus stop," he told the BBC. "It was quite overwhelming actually to see how our project can reach a wider audience."
Special Patrol Group put up the posters on Wednesday night during the snow storm but by Friday they had been taken down and replaced by McDonald's adverts. It may have been short-lived, but the guerrilla campaign has stoked an important debate about diversity.
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