DiversityLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 3/08/18 at 12:17PM EST
Jon Favreau to write and produce the live-action Star Wars TV series
Favreau has been tapped to helm the live-action Star Wars TV series for Disney's upcoming streaming service. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement this morning, saying the Iron Man and Elf director "brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.” For his part, Favreau said: "If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure.”
- Some fans are unhappy that "another straight white dude" was hired for Star Wars, especially on International Women's Day
- "Bad PR timing," tweeted IndieWire editor Ann Thompson. "But women have a tough time getting the experience they need to compete for plum jobs like this."
- Even movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse criticized the decision not to pick a woman
Posted Tuesday 3/06/18 at 9:38PM EST
Netflix boss rejects Frances McDormand's "inclusion riders" proposal for increased diversity
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn't a fan of the proposal McDormand championed in her Oscar speech to have stars put "inclusion riders" in contracts to ensure diversity in cast and crew. "We’re not so big on doing everything through agreements," he said. "We’re trying to do things creatively." Hastings said he'd rather see his staff speak with producers directly when it comes to diversity.
Posted Wednesday 2/28/18 at 12:25AM EST
UCLA's diversity report finds that minorities are still underrepresented on TV
The Los Angeles Times, reporting on the annual study, notes that "overall, people of color remained underrepresented, considering they were 40% of the U.S. population in 2016... On TV, 18.7% of scripted broadcast leads, 20.2% of scripted cable leads and 12.9% of scripted digital leads were people of color."
Posted Friday 2/23/18 at 1:50AM EST
What do This Is Us, Here and Now and The Fosters have in common?
They all revolve around cross-racial adoption, says Emily Nussbaum. "On Here and Now and This Is Us, cross-racial adoption feels suspiciously like a structural shortcut to a diverse cast," she says. "Not so on The Fosters, where the relationships are less stylized, more lived in, with funk and warmth and looseness that feel like real life, capturing the bickering bonds among parents and teens."
Posted Friday 2/02/18 at 6:18PM EST
CBS’ rebooted Magnum P.I. is expected to star a minority actor
In addition to pursuing a non-white actor to take on the role of Thomas Magnum, the proposed reboot will replace at least one member of the original all-male team with a woman. Similarly, CBS’ reboot of Cagney and Lacey is planning to cast a non-white actress in the role of Lacey. The CW’s Charmed reboot will also have a diverse cast. “This is part of an across-the-board effort by the broadcast networks this year to have casts that represent the diverse makeup of America,” says Nellie Andreeva. “What’s more, while non-white actors had often been relegated to supporting roles in the past, judging by early buzz, some predict that we may have one of the most, if not the most diverse group of broadcast pilot leads ever.” As Andreeva notes, ABC announced last year that its Greatest American Hero is being reimagined with an Indian-American female lead.
Posted Thursday 12/21/17 at 10:23PM EST
Zendaya returned to Disney Channel because she says it lacked diversity
“The only reason I wanted to come back to the Disney Channel is because there was a lack of diversity at that time,” the K.C. Undercover star tells The New York Times. “There weren’t any leads or families of color, and I felt like that was something that needed to happen.”
Posted Thursday 12/14/17 at 9:52AM EST
ABC and CBS earned good grades for Asian-American representation, NBC got a C+
In a new report card from the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, ABC scored the highest mark, a B, thanks to shows starring Asian-American actors like Fresh Off the Boat, the canceled Dr. Ken and Quantico. CBS was graded with a B- and Fox was given an “incomplete due to lack of data.
Posted Friday 11/17/17 at 7:14AM EST
Late-night’s predominantly white male hosts proved to be “woefully ill-equipped to deal” with Louis CK
“When you benefit from the same system that allows Louis CK to thrive, or when you laughed off the allegations like Jon Stewart—something he had to apologize for this week—who will take you seriously when you lash out at Louis CK?” wrote Ira Madison III, in an article published shortly before Al Franken’s sexual harassment scandal broke. “It was relatively easy for late-night to make jokes about Cosby, perhaps because they were from a different generation than him, his star had already fallen quite a bit, and because, well, they’re not black. It’s easy to make jokes when you’re an outsider, when the target isn’t someone ingrained in your life, when your success doesn’t mirror the success they’ve also enjoyed. There are plenty of R. Kelly jokes that late-night hosts have in their repertoire. Louis CK jokes, not so much.” He adds: “It’s why a diverse array of voices in late-night is so vital these days. Everyone who’s not a straight white male are the ones who’ve found themselves under attack this year, yet there are precious few people who can speak to that experience on late-night TV.”
Posted Friday 11/10/17 at 1:46PM EST
CBS Diversity Showcase is accused of being a “racist mess”
The program aimed at giving more opportunities to minorities and members of the LGBTQ community “often leaves participants feeling dejected and bullied at the hands of leaders they say view them stereotypically and insist that their work revolve around outdated racist, gender-based, or homophobic tropes,” reports Maria Elena Fernandez. The program has had success with people like Kate McKinnon, Tiffany Haddish and Randall Park, yet Fernandez reports that the program that the showcase “repeatedly defied the program’s primary purpose.”
Posted Thursday 11/09/17 at 2:25PM EST
In GLAAD’s new TV study, LGBTQ characters reach a record high -- but they lack diversity
About 6.4% of regular TV characters were identified as LGBTQ, which is unprecedented in the history of the GLAAD TV study. Yet an overwhelming number of those characters were white.
Posted Wednesday 11/01/17 at 2:48PM EDT
Study: Just 4.8% of TV writers are black
A UCLA professor's new study, titled “Race in the Writers’ Room: How Hollywood Whitewashes the Stories That Shape America,” found that 234 broadcast, cable and streaming TV series have no black writers. The study also found that most black writers work on shows with black showrunners.
Posted Wednesday 11/01/17 at 3:54AM EDT
With America Ferrera's help, This Is Us and other NBC shows are casting more underrepresented people
This week’s This Is Us episode featured a Sikh man, but no mention was made of his ethnicity. The casting was the result of a meeting set up by Superstore star Ferrera, NBC president Jennifer Salke and NBC’s showrunners in June. Ferrera heads up a group called Harness that encourages weaving underrepresented communities into the storytelling on NBC shows.
Posted Monday 9/25/17 at 1:24PM EDT
After hiring Luke Bryan for American Idol, ABC is trying to avoid having an all-white panel
The country star officially signed on to the ABC reboot of the hit reality show on Sunday, joining a judging panel with Katy Perry. According to Variety, Lionel Richie is no longer in the running and it’s unlikely other potential names like Charlie Puth and Keith Urban are joining the show. The reason, according to TMZ, is that ABC is in a “tug of war” with Idol's production company over racial diversity. TMZ says that while Fremantle wants Puth, ABC believes there should be racial diversity on the panel, with the network still hoping to land Richie.
Posted Tuesday 9/19/17 at 11:03PM EDT
Shonda Rhimes calls reaction to the historically diverse Emmys “embarrassing”
“To me, it feels embarrassing that we are still in a place in which we still have to note these moments," Rhimes says. "I’m hoping that it’s not a trend. I’m hoping that people don’t feel satisfied because they saw a lot of people win, and then think that we’re done.”
Posted Tuesday 9/19/17 at 11:03PM EDT
Master of None’s Lena Waithe connects her historical Emmy victory to Halle Berry winning an Oscar
“So many other people could have won, but I think that, for whatever reason, there’s a person that is the vessel,” says Waithe, the first black female winner of the Emmy for best comedy writing, echoing Berry’s Oscar speech. “I hope to leave a path for others to follow, and to break down doors for others to walk through.”