Oprah Winfrey, much like many of us, was once all for diversity but these days the Media Mogul is shifting the conversation over to inclusion.
In a joint Hollywood Reporter interview with Ava DuVernay, who directed the upcoming series Queen Sugar for the OWN network, Winfrey spoke about issues of race and representation both on and off screen.
“I used to use the word ‘diversity’ all the time. ‘We want more diverse stories, more diverse characters …,’ ” she said. “Now I really eliminated it from my vocabulary because I’ve learned from [Ava] that the word that most articulates what we’re looking for is what we want to be: included. It’s to have a seat at the table where the decisions are being made,” she added.
“We aren’t sitting around talking about diversity. Just like we aren’t sitting around talking about being black or being women. We’re just being that,” DuVernay pointed out.
Winfrey and DuVernay also talked about the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of Queen Sugar, which follows African-American siblings who take over their family’s sugar plantation in present-day Louisiana.
“You see integration of Black Lives Matter from the beginning of [Queen Sugar] because it is literally black lives having meaning and mattering in the everyday,” said DuVernay.
She continued, “With the Black Lives Matter movement, a lot of the focus is on the protest and dissent. I’m hoping to dismantle the public notion – for folks outside of the community – of what Black Lives Matter means. It’s really about saying that black lives matter, that humanity is the same when you go inside people’s homes.”
You can read the full interview here.