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Debunking Hollywood’s Diversity Problem

Photo Credit: Craig Grobler

We have heard time and time again that there is an extravagant and pervasive diversity problem in Hollywood. This absurd conclusion manifested itself in the outrage of 2016, which happened to be the second consecutive year in which all the actors nominated for an Oscar were white. Some cry racism, while others see this as a mere coincidence. However, it appears as if the diversity in Hollywood is yet another popular political topic for people to mold into an unsupported criticism towards the film industry. The following question encapsulates the current predicament: Does Hollywood have a diversity problem, or does Hollywood represent the American populace equitably?

A pristine example of how individuals exacerbate racial contention in Hollywood can be seen with the recent debut of the film “Dunkirk.” The film, set during World War II, depicts the 1940s rescue mission of Allied soldiers who were stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Like a multitude of Christopher Nolan’s films, it received positive and outstanding reviews. However, one review from USA Today has stood out among the rest. USA Today gave the film a terrific review that it undoubtedly deserved, but included harsh criticisms for the apparent lack of diversity in the cast. The critic who wrote the review, Brian Truitt, stated:

The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.”

It seems extremely fallible to criticize a war movie that takes place in the 1940s for not having enough diversity. When one examines the people who fought for the British at the time, they will see that the cast in Dunkirk is actually historically accurate, void of any racial prejudice.

During the 1940s, women were not allowed to serve in military combat roles. Thus, for one to criticize this film for not casting any women is absurd. The same absurdity presents itself in the claim that the film features no lead characters of color. Britain’s population in the 1940s was overwhelmingly white. In fact, the Black British population during WWII accounted for less than 10,000 people, compared to Britain’s total population numbering 46.5 million. So 0.0002% of the British population was black. This statistic accounts for all black citizens throughout the country, counting men, women, and children. Therefore, this film does not deserve the blame it has received for not representing 0.0002% of Britain’s population.

The continued criticisms directed towards Hollywood’s lack of diversity are unfounded and unsupported since it turns out that Hollywood, for the most part, represents the American populace equitably. It was reported in 2014 that the top 100 films were cast with actors that identified with the following racial groups: 73% white, 12.5% black, 5.3% Asian, and 4.9% Hispanic. Comparatively, the 2014 Census reported that America is 73.8% white, 12.5 % black, 5% Asian, and 16.8% Hispanic. So it appears, from a data comparison standpoint, that Hispanics are the only racial group who are not afforded equal representation in the film industry. However, racism is not a likely culprit based upon population growth data. The Hispanic population is responsible for 54% of America’s population growth, and the rapidity of this growth may cause a lag in the rate in which Hispanics are integrated into the film industry. Only time will tell if the number of Hispanic actors in the film industry catches up.

While many incessantly complain about the lack of diversity in Hollywood, there is one group of individuals that is actually over-represented in the film industry. A 2016 Gallup poll  showed that 4.1% of the American populace identified as LGBTQ. However, television shows from 2016-2017 showed that 4.8% of actors identified as LGBTQ, therefore revealing an over-representation of LGBTQ actors in comparison to their makeup of the United States populace. With statistics like these, it is extremely hard to claim that there is a stereotypical bias pervasive throughout Hollywood.

In its entirety, Hollywood is doing an outstanding job at casting people at equitable rates compared to the racial demographics of the American populace. Although Hispanics are the only racial group to not achieve exact equal representation in the film industry, it is absurd to believe Hollywood has an ethnicity bias selectively for Hispanics. Expanding to Whites, Blacks, and Asians, it is conclusive that the percentage of actors of each racial group is nearly identical to the racial makeup of the United States. This makes it extremely hard to believe that Hollywood is rampant with racial bias and prejudice, as the Left repeatedly alleges. The logical conclusion would simply be that there are more white actors because white people make up the vast majority of the United States population. Any other deduction, provided the evidence above, is simply ridiculous.  

Follow the author on Facebook and Twitter: @eastonsatt

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About Easton Satterfield (8 Articles)
Currently majoring in Multimedia Journalism at Southeast Missouri State University. Hobbies: Debunking the Liberal ideology.

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