The recent whitewashed Oscar nominations have started a wildfire of diversity talk in Hollywood, and they have maybe even sparked some real changes given the recent shakeup within the Academy. This week, The Hollywood Reporter brought in three of the industry’s biggest talents — “Master of None” showrunner Alan Yang, “Dear White People” writer-director Justin Simien and veteran Hollywood producer Stephanie Allain — to discusses the diversity issue and explain how it is endemic of more than just Hollywood. The meaty interview digs into how race is perceived through both Hollywood in the past and in the contemporary space.
Watch the full interview above and read the entire transcript at The Hollywood Reporter. Three of the roundtable’s best insights can be found below.
When Simien Realized the Game Wasn’t Rigged in His Favor
“I knew from jump,” says Simien. “I had been to enough industry panels and had heard enough from people of color in positions above me telling me how hard it was. But making Dear White People, there were many points where that was reinforced, so I could never forget it. It starts with certain questions: ‘Do you think there’s an audience for this? And if there are these ‘supposed smart black people’ out there, are there enough of them?'”
The Root of Hollywood’s Problem
“America is racist. I mean, we were founded on slavery. It’s never been really addressed, and the ramifications are everywhere,” says Allain.
“Hollywood is racist by my definition: It’s a system of disadvantage based on color,” adds Simien.