The Flip Side: Diversity. Diversity. Diversity.

You know when you say a word over and over and slowly the individual syllables start resonating more than the word itself, and then as a whole it loses all sense and meaning? I fear that’s what’s happening with the word “diversity,” as it gets overused and over-emphasized in so many conversations relating to entertainment today. Make no mistake, I’m all for the conversation. I’ve been a proponent of race-blind casting since, at thirteen, I fell in love with the royal family in a TV version of Cinderella. The queen was black, the king was white, and their handsome son, the charming Prince Christopher, was Filipino. I can’t place exactly why I so deeply appreciated this casting choice. All I know is that even then it made sense to me that families could be multiracial, that anybody could be Prince Charming, and that the best actor for the job should have the job, regardless of race.

But while I jump at the chance to discuss and debate opportunity issues facing artists, I’ve come to feel that much talk concerning diversity is less about affecting actual change and more about avoiding being labelled a racist. So the word is used. A lot. However, without a genuine intent to create change, endless championing of diversity renders the word meaningless. And an overused, meaningless word can create the belief that everything needing to be said has already been discussed, halting conversation altogether.

Luckily, many artists are breathing new life into the diversity conversation. Some of their pieces are below.

Happy reading.

 

Written By

Hannah works in casting, the only profession that allows her to truthfully use work as an excuse to stay home and watch TV. A dropout of both preschool and law school, she loves Montreal bagels, Harry Potter, and conversations about diversity. Her diet starts tomorrow.


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