Diversity in Hollywood

Quentin Freeman

With Mad Max and the newest Star Wars movie featuring both a strong female protagonist and a black supporting actor, some say that it was a good year for diversity. However, Hollywood still has a problem with casting a wide range of actors.

Although there was a variety of movies in 2015 that prominently featured people of color (POC), every single acting nomination for the 2016 Oscars is white–for the second year in a row. The Oscars is taking place on February 28th and the list of nominees for acting includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Sylvester Stallone, and other stars.

Stallone played a supporting role in the movie Creed, which follows the training of a black heavyweight fighter, played by Michael B. Jordan. Though this movie was actually about a black man and featured many POC, the nomination still went to a white man. Hollywood itself features very little diversity, whether in terms of race, gender, or sexuality. The most popular movies are dominated by white, cisgender, heterosexual men– look at Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp, some of the most famous actors in the US.

Though more and more POC are making their way into larger roles, it’s still hard to find movies starring queer and trans people. The Academy Award nominated movie The Danish Girl follows one of the first people to undergo a sex change surgery, painter Lili Elbe. However, many people are raising the issue that the lead character, who is a transgender woman, is played by a cisgender man, Eddie Redmayne.

It’s time for Hollywood to evolve and begin casting a wider range of people to more accurately represent the minority characters being depicted in films.