Hollywood’s Need for Diversity Inclusion

Academy Award Nominee, Gabourey Sidibe

By: Tamika Morrison

Vanity Fair said it best on the front cover of their latest Young Hollywood issue without uttering a word.  The picture of the lily white rising stars said it all; Hollywood doesn’t have to acknowledge black or diverse talent.   Really?  Is it that simple as tossing hair over the shoulders with a shrug and keep it moving?

Well just as corporate America was given mandates by Affirmative Action programs in the form of “Diversity Inclusion”, I believe it’s high time for the ‘diversity police’ to start issuing high dollar tickets for the whitewash crimes going down in Tinsel Town.

Essence Magazine just wrapped up their third annual “Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon” and on deck were some powerful women in their own star-right that deserved to be mentioned and acknowledged – not just on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Young Hollywood issue, note Gabby Sidibe, Zoe Saldana and KeKe Palmer all fit the bill, but there’s some other major heavy weight’s among them that seems to fly under the radar a little too much in Hollywood’s elite like, Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Anika Noni Rose and Nia Long, just to name a few.  This luncheon not only showed off the beautiful black talent that dwell in Tinsel Town, but it’s a sad reminder of the need to hold ‘your own’ awards function to acknowledge black and diverse talent because otherwise, it may remain unnoticed.

And alas, we have the Oscar’s showcasing the most incredible talent in film, television and cinematography that aired on Sunday, March 7thMo’Nique won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the critically acclaimed independent film, Precious.  Mo’Nique is the fifth African-American woman to be recognized for this great honor.  And we can’t ignore the incredible talent that is Gabourey Sidibe who was nominated alongside acting greats, Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side and Meryl Streep “Julie & Julia”.  Should there have been more African-Americans recognized by now or is this the progress we seek?  That is definitely a debatable subject.  We can’t deny Gabby’s nomination and entrance into Tinsel Town is a game changer on so many levels even if she didn’t win.  So maybe we have our first case of Diversity inclusion for Hollywood?

I do see some progress and believe Hollywood will continue to become more diverse.  If Hollywood becomes halted or stunted, you best believe, I’ll be ready to blow my proverbial whistle on my radio program, The Greenlight Project as me and my partner, Rochelle Valsaint look for ways the media industry doesn’t move fast enough in the case for diversity.

What do you think?

Follow me @twsprfirm

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