Social issues and many other problems change overtime. All of these changes can affect all aspects of the world. From policies, work ethic codes and much more. These changes can directly many parts of the media industry. Within the past 10 years, many films plan to make their films more inclusive and diverse to fit these social issues. From Marvel’s Black Panther having a large African American cast to Crazy Rich Asians displaying how Asian actors and film producers have what it takes. Many films now are breaking away from the norm and are trying to find ways to create film without causing controversy over social issues. Once films implement the changes, the fans do not always accept them.
Many issues that have been a problem within the past century are slowly being brought to light through many forms of media. Some may argue that the real life depiction of these issues should be shown fully while some believe it is too harsh to show it and should be winded down a bit. The most recent example was the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody which has gone through criticisms of its showing of lead singer Freddie Mercury. Some critics wanted to have a no filtered biopic regarding the singer’s relationship as a bisexual and his struggle with AIDS. Former bandmates of Mercury made the decision to have the film as a tribute rather than a controversial discussion about Mercury’s life. Fans of the band have supported the decision of the band. The large majority are open to the idea of bringing light to these social issues that wouldn’t have been acceptable back then.
Diversity is a word being used much more frequently in the current generation. Through the past decade it is believed that diversity and inclusion in films has increased over that time. This change was not decided upon but conformed upon. Society has always been changing and most things will change along with it. Calling for more inclusive and diverse films won’t really make a difference. It can be very obvious if a show or film just places something there just for the sake of diversity. That kind of change should come naturally as society evolves. The recent surge isn’t because directors and producers have been putting diversity into play but just because it should be there naturally. Thats how the public should react as well. Romesh Ranganathan from The Guardian said for example Black Panther, should not be remembered as a step for diversity and change – but should be remembered as a great blockbuster Marvel film.
There are various points to the argument on how the film industry is changing based on these social issues. USC Annenberg released a paper showing the “change” in film based on cultural and gender representation. The document shows that no or very little progress has been made in diversifying the film industry. For example, the information they gathered show that close to 70% of all actors in films are caucasian. The 30% remaining are groups such as asian, african american or latino. These numbers haven’t changed too much in the past decade. Another statistic claims that women only make around 30% of the film industry workforce. The same Annenberg paper showed that there was only 1 female music composer in over 1,400 productions. All these statistics are a lot to take in. It does show that change is required if we want to make the film industry equal. These changes will be hard to implement and there is no clear solution. All these statistics will change a little bit due to new films being released which showcase more diversity and inclusion. The only thing we can hope for is these changes will happen naturally and the rest of the world will conform to it.
Image graphic source – http://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/inequality-in-1100-popular-films.pdf
Overall change is something we need to acknowledge but not overdo. These social issues involving diversity and inclusion should come naturally and not be forced. It’s good that people are pushing for that change but that change shouldn’t come forced. As we keep seeing new films and productions which include non majority characters, hopefully that will be the norm in the future where we don’t acknowledge those characters being there.
– Benson Lam