Hollywood has a diversity problem. This is nothing new, but after last February’s Academy Awards nominations got turned into the cheeky yet poignant hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, the film business’ ugly little secret was exposed to the light of day.
Earlier this year, UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies released its second annual Hollywood Diversity Report, highlighting the disparities in the industry.
Some of the key findings?
- Women make up just 6.3 percent of directors, and 17 percent of film studio senior management
- People of color directed just 17.8 percent of theatrical films in 2013, and made up just 8 percent of film studio senior management
Despite the low numbers of people of color and women in power positions, Matt Damon thinks it’s totally ok.
On a recent episode of HBO’s Project Greenlight, a show that helps first-time filmmakers get their projects made, Damon tried to “whitespain” diversity casting to Dear White People producer Effie Brown, who’s also had her hand in 17 other films.
In one clip from Sunday’s show, Brown argues that people of color should be in decision-making positions so that stories involving minorities are told correctly, while Damon brushes her concerns aside saying diversity should be handled “in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.”
Translation: people of color should be actors, not writers, producers, or directors.
Matt Damon speaking over the only black person in the room so he can explain diversity to her is SO WHITE it hurts pic.twitter.com/iaQStYZ0ij
— Glen Coco (@MrPooni) September 14, 2015
Umm, sure Matt, because all white decision-makers are always capable of telling Black stories correctly?
We know better than that.