As tends to happens when Aaron Sorkin speaks in public, people had mixed reactions to the Oscar-winning screenwriter discussing Hollywood’s diversity problem during a panel discussion last weekend. The “West Wing” creator and “Social Network” scribe clarified his remarks in Variety today: “Of course I am aware of the diversity problem in Hollywood,” he writes, adding that it was he who “brought the subject up Saturday morning and kept coming back to the subject.”
“Are you saying that women and minorities have a more difficult time getting their stuff read than white men?” Sorkin asked the audience during the panel. “And you’re also saying that [white men] get to make mediocre movies and can continue on? You’re saying that if you are a woman or a person of color, you have to hit it out of the park in order to get another chance?” This was interpreted by many as a sign that Sorkin didn’t realize this was a problem.
He now says these were rhetorical questions and that he was, in fact, well aware of such issues. “I was asking questions to a group of people who understand this problem firsthand,” Sorkin adds.