Viola Davis Says Hollywood Has a Diversity Problem. Misses A Huge Irony...
For those of you who watched the Emmy's last night... I'm sorry. You do know there was a football game on, right? Also, I'm quite sure there was some paint drying somewhere.
Holy crap, what a mess. From Julia Louis-Dreyfus' lame attempt to mock Donald Trump (there's lots of material to choose from, but hers was an epic fail) - to Jeffrey Tambor's hailing of Caitlyn Jenner's... "courage"
But there was a moment that really stuck out to us in light of recent events. It's being hailed as the speech of the night by those on both the left and the right.
In case you missed it, Viola Davis gave a moving acceptance speech upon receiving her Emmy as the best actress in a drama series for her role in "How to Get Away with Murder." Viola is the first black American woman to win the award, and this is what she had to say:
"You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."
Pretty powerful statement. Because the people she's talking to? They're the ones that continually feel the need to lecture us on diversity. As is often the case with Tinseltown, they employ the rule of "what is required for you is not needed for us."
In the season premiere of HBO's show, "Project Greenlight," Damon is recorded as saying, "When we talk about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show... It seems like you would undermine what the competition is supposed to be about, which is about giving somebody this job based entirely on merit."
The problem is, Viola's and Damon's statements cannot necessarily coexist. So which is it?
Is Hollywood racist, as Viola suggests, failing to provide roles for black individuals based solely on their skin color... or are there just, as Damon seemingly implied, more accomplished white film-makers from which to choose?
Regardless of which version you personally believe, the fact remains that Hollywood, in general, is almost as white as a Bernie Sanders rally. Here's why.
Hollywood is a business, and Hollywood is more concerned about making money than about some social justice warrior's definition of diversity in the film industry. The end.
As filmmaker Gavin Polone wrote in New York Magazine,
"African-American actors don't sell overseas -- unless, of course, they are Will Smith or Denzel Washington, but only in a thriller or action movie. I have on more than one occasion been told that a studio wouldn’t approve a black lead in one of my films because it would bring down the international numbers."
See the key word there is "international." Black film and television stars are more than viable here in the United States. Hell, several of them have topped our list of "Sexiest people alive."
However, while Tinseltown has tried to make the United States out to be a bastion of racism and Europe the epicenter of progress... the fact remains that we are still the country that elected a black president and will pay to watch black film stars. When Americans vote with their dollar, diversity is ever-present. In Europe? Not so much? China? Get real. South America? Some of the most racist people on the planet.
So maybe, the next time the Hollywood elite try to lob the "racist" accusation at the American public who support them... they should lob it straight at the Europeans they so often try to appease. Because when it comes to "diversity"... Europe's never gotten it right.