The entertainment industry is continually changing because of new technologies. Advancement in technology has transformed the entertainment industry in many ways whether it is television, films, or music streaming. The continuously changing environment is shifting how entertainment is created and sold. The changes in the way things are made has made other things in the entertainment industry clearer like diversity. The proliferation of the internet has given the voiceless voice and people have been demanding for a more inclusive entertainment to reflect broader range of persons and their preferences. This exploratory essay discusses the issue of diversity in the entertainment industry.
Diversity is a wider term and it is vital to define it in terms of entertainment industry. Currently, the entertainment industry is dominated by mainly white, and straight individuals. There has not been more space for inclusion in the past since other people in society have been underrepresented. These include minorities, women, and children to mention just a few. Although the success of blockbusters with diverse films has started to encourage the Hollywood to include women and minorities, the entertainment industry has a long way to go I terms of diversity (Brown, 2019). The diversity report released by the UCLA concerning latest Hollywood films indicated that although there are major gains in front and behind camera, minorities and women still remain underrepresented in television and film. Interestingly, audiences often prefer television and films shows that feature diverse groups. According to Brown (2019), in all the 12 categories of the films that were examined, the minorities and women were found to be underrepresented. The internet has provided various groups of people with an opportunity to watch films that not only refer to their culture but also other cultures for the purposes of entertainment. Thus, ensuring diversity in film and TV show production is vital and adds value to the entertainment shows.
Diversity has some relationship with the entertainment industry because films that represent people of diverse backgrounds are often gaining popularity than those that feature only the whites or particular cultural groups. Essentially, films that include relatively diverse cast perform better at the global box office meaning that diversity is crucial in film casting. Notably, films that included 20% minority cast have fared strongly well in the global box office (Brown, 2019). Despite overall reports indicating that women and minorities are less represented in the film cast, there are other reports that show improvement in the inclusion of women and minorities in film casting. For instance, one report indicated that women gained seven of the employment’s categories compare to their male counterparts including the film directors. The inclusion is good news to the entertainment producers as this will allow a broader audience to view the films hence increasing the revenue. Although the minorities and women have been included in several fronts in the film industry, they are underrepresented in the film writers, digital realty, cable scripted leads and other leads.
According to Dobrow, Gidney, & Burton (2018), children are another group of audience that is under represented in TV shows and film industry. Despite Black panther and A wrinkle in Time films performing well and being praised as futuristic cast, they underrepresent children who need to watch diverse and more characters in the films and TV shows. Although there is progress in the inclusion of children in the film casting, research indicates that there are broader disparities between the number of male and female actors and the number of black and white characters in most films. In one analysis of over 1100 characters in 20 children programs, only 42 characters were black and others 47 belonged to other groups apart from the white (Dobrow, Gidney, & Burton, 2018). This implies that the films children see in TV programs is out of their real environments. The stereotypes portrayals in the children programs means that still children are underrepresented in the film casting. To ensure diversity among the programs the children see on television, it is important to include several characters representing race, gender and age to make them enjoy and consume their TV shows more effectively so that they can relate the shows with their real environments.
Despite the fact that female characters in the children’s TV programs were still less, there is an improvement which shows that the entertainment industry has today started to factor diversity as one of the key aspects of film casting. In addition, there is more representation in racial and ethnic diversity since black characters account for 5.6% of the total sample of 1500 characters (Dobrow, Gidney, & Burton, 2018). However, it is depressing to note that diversity in film casting has a long way to go since the African-American characters only represented 13.3% of the U.S population while the Latinos made up of 17.8% of the population. This finding was consistent with Brown (2019) who found that stereotypes exists in the way the characters are portrayed. In particular, such characters are portrayed as “bad guys”, and poor in American accent and dialects.
The analysis of the film Crazy Rich Asians indicated that the film has gained popularity because of including diversity in its casting (Chiu, 2019). The filmgoers liked the movie because it featured several demographics including gender, age, race, and ethnic diversity. The inclusion of diverse characters in the film indicates that technological advancement in the film industry has helped in the inclusion of diversity and people of various demographics and cultural backgrounds can still be interested in the films. Evidently, the casting films including diversity can help in making them more interesting and entertaining. Including diversity in front and behind the camera is one way of enhancing the entertainment industry. The more diverse the characters the better the outcome for filmgoers. Thus, the broader and the diverse environment for the entertainment the better. Diversity provides the spotlight for the individual who are underrepresented and makes them feel appreciated and worthy existing (Chiu, 2019).
Conclusively, diversity in the entertainment industry is at the baby stage. Although the current films have started to include the minority, women, and children in their film production, a lot needs to be done to ensure that all groups of individuals are represented to make them feel worthy and represented in society. With the internet providing important avenues for the filmmakers to reach a broader audience, diversity is paramount.
Brown., T. (2019). UCLA Report Finds Women, Minorities Still Underrepresented in Film and TV. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-ucla-hollywood-diversity-report-20190221-story.html
Chiu, A. (2019). All-Asian Cast, No Martial Arts: ‘Crazy Rich Asians Matters. Retrieved from: https://variety.com/2019/film/news/jon-chu-crazy-rich-asians-1203105999/
Dobrow, J., Gidney, C., & Burton, J. (2018). Why It’s so Important for Kids to See Diverse TV and Movie Characters. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/why-its-so-important-for-kids-to-see-diverse-tv-and-movie-characters-92576