Inclusion Happens When Declared
Don’t believe anyone who says it’s a slow, trickle-down process. Don’t buy into that “be patient” nonsense. There is no reason that writers, cast, and crew are anything less than representative of the population other than an absolute willingness to uphold the status quo.
When a person in power says “do it”, it gets done.
Linda Holmes, the host of one of my very favourite podcasts, NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, mentioned a conversation she and Variety’s Mo Ryan had with John Landgraf, the CEO of FX, at the Television Critics Association 2016 press tour. The FX Network likes to see itself as a leader, yet was trailing horribly in terms of diversity and inclusion. From Variety, “In the 2014-15 TV season, only 12% of FX’s directors were women or people of color… At the moment, 51% of the directors booked by FX and FXX are men and women of color, or white women.”
Although creators on FX retain tremendous decision-making power, Mr. Landgraf threw all his weight and support behind hiring more diverse crew members. When that happened, things changed. Very, very quickly.
PCHH’s 19 August 2016 episode, “The Get Down and TCA 2016”:
Relevant section begins around the 20:45 minute mark.
You can read the full Variety article here:
So guess what, kids? You know what works for implementing great change? Not platitudes, not plans for the future, not talking a good game about how your organisation theoretically welcomes minorities and women despite maintaining a hostile environment. No, it’s getting the people in power to declare that it is imperative.
Don’t believe anyone, least of all someone who has an interest in maintaining the status quo, who says it cannot be done. It can and is being done right now.