How do you feel about "Diversity Hires" in Hollywood?

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by EterPr0x (20 posts) -

http://defamer.gawker.com/in-the-white-room-with-black-writers-hollywoods-dive-1486789620

"There's this thing in Hollywood, a "diversity staff writer." Most every writing room has one—an entry level, non-white staff writer, explicitly hired due to their race. (If you're really lucky, being gay or a woman might just suffice, in lieu of not being white.) The diverse staff writing position, colloquially referred to as a "diversity hire," isn't just a vague, subtle effort to break up the litany of white, male faces that make up a majority of the working writers in television. In corporate America, minorities often have to deal with vicious whispers amongst white co-workers about how they got where they are as a token hire—"They had to hire a black guy." Perversely, Hollywood's genuine attempt to remedy the overwhelming whiteness of the industry has instead led to a place where networks pat themselves on the back for hiring a token writer by institutionalizing those sotto voce complaints. We are called, on paper and to our faces, diversity hires."

Do you think this is an effective way to deal with the structures in Hollywood that favor white males? Should it be increased, i.e. instead of one "diversity hire" perhaps as many as 10? How do you feel about the lack of female, and person of color writers in Hollywood?

#2 Edited by Masculus (2830 posts) -

Heh. If the purpose is to bring diversity they are failing catastrophically. Hollywood's productions are getting increasingly poor.

#3 Posted by Master_Live (14164 posts) -

Don't like.

#4 Posted by bobaban (10553 posts) -

Hollywood is a white persons world. With the occasional black thrown in. Just look at the movies right now, cast is 90% white typically.

#5 Posted by DharmaMember77 (2377 posts) -

Doesn't change the fact that a majority of movies and shows they put out are still filled with white male characters.

#6 Posted by EterPr0x (20 posts) -

@bobaban said:

Hollywood is a white persons world. With the occasional black thrown in. Just look at the movies right now, cast is 90% white typically.

Are you okay with that?

#7 Posted by GamerForca (7078 posts) -

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

#8 Edited by EterPr0x (20 posts) -

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

#9 Posted by Master_Live (14164 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

How would that make him a racist?

#10 Edited by Iszdope (9636 posts) -

^

Dat's racist.

#11 Edited by 4myAmuzumament (1748 posts) -

Affirmative action is no good; it only lowers the bar.

#12 Posted by MrGeezer (56103 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

http://defamer.gawker.com/in-the-white-room-with-black-writers-hollywoods-dive-1486789620

"There's this thing in Hollywood, a "diversity staff writer." Most every writing room has one—an entry level, non-white staff writer, explicitly hired due to their race. (If you're really lucky, being gay or a woman might just suffice, in lieu of not being white.) The diverse staff writing position, colloquially referred to as a "diversity hire," isn't just a vague, subtle effort to break up the litany of white, male faces that make up a majority of the working writers in television. In corporate America, minorities often have to deal with vicious whispers amongst white co-workers about how they got where they are as a token hire—"They had to hire a black guy." Perversely, Hollywood's genuine attempt to remedy the overwhelming whiteness of the industry has instead led to a place where networks pat themselves on the back for hiring a token writer by institutionalizing those sotto voce complaints. We are called, on paper and to our faces, diversity hires."

Do you think this is an effective way to deal with the structures in Hollywood that favor white males? Should it be increased, i.e. instead of one "diversity hire" perhaps as many as 10? How do you feel about the lack of female, and person of color writers in Hollywood?

Well, movies are about art and money.

So I guess that my feeling on such "diversity hires" would depend on how much of a positive benefit it has with regards to art and money. Do "diversity hires" contribute to movies being more commercially successful among various demographics? If it increases profits, it's good. If it decreases profits, it's bad. Do "diversity hires" result in movies that are better from an artistic standpoint? If the movies end up better, it's good. If the movies end up worse, that's bad.

Ultimately my opinion would have to depend on how well this strategy actually works towards its intended goal. If it's effective, then I have a hard time complaining. If it's ineffective, then it should be done away with. Now, keep in mind, that opinion is only based on the practice of having diversity hires, not how they are treated as employees. Once one becomes an employee, I think there should be certain professional standards for how they are treated. But movies are still sort of "art", and art is one of the categories in which "fair" doesn't and arguably shouldn't apply (at least to an extent). Art usually is created with a specific audience in mind, especially when that art costs tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to create. If someone finances a $70 million movie specifically catered toward a particular demographic, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have a dozen writers on hand that aren't part of that demographic, just to fill a quota. That obviously doesn't apply for all roles. Key grip or lighting technician shouldn't apply. But for CREATIVE roles (such as writers), I'm adamantly against mandating quotas. Hire whoever needs to be hired to get the job done. It might be one black man, 17 white men, 2 white women, and an asian man. Hire who needs to be hired, then treat them right, and I don't have anything to say. If the critics and the public think that the outcome is bad, then the audience will speak and practices will be forced to change.

#14 Edited by Iszdope (9636 posts) -

^

Dat's raci...umm...

...hmm.

#15 Posted by EterPr0x (20 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

How would that make him a racist?

What's racist about a white guy disliking racially diverse hiring? I'm not sure if that's a serious question.

#16 Posted by GamerForca (7078 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

I'm racist because I wouldn't want to, perhaps, lose out on a job for being white? lol ok then...

#17 Posted by EterPr0x (20 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

I'm racist because I wouldn't want to, perhaps, lose out on a job for being white? lol ok then...

See, this is what happens when you don't read the links that threads are about.Diversity Hire is the actual position. It can only be filled by a person of color (or a woman or homosexual).
You wouldn't lose out on a Diversity Hire because you don't fit the bill. It's like a person working at Ikea worrying about losing a spot at Wal-Mart.
Because I assumed you read the link and then responded like that, I assumed you were saying that you don't like the idea of a position meant for people of color, which would make you a racist.
Pro-tip: Read links next time.

#18 Posted by Barbariser (6724 posts) -

If their goal is to turn Hollywood from an obnoxiously monotonous white boys' club to a film industry which actually writes, directs and casts for the entire population (a very laudable and arguably necessary objective), then these methods have failed spectacularly.

#19 Posted by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

@bobaban said:

Hollywood is a white persons world. With the occasional black thrown in. Just look at the movies right now, cast is 90% white typically.

Gotta love anecdotal statistics. In a Tyler Perry movie the cast is 100% black, unless you have some snobby rich white racist at a store or something in a scene. It all depends on the movie. Saying that.....

You do know close to 75% of this country is still white right? Yet if you have 4 stars in a movie and 1 is black to people like you he is the "token black guy"......despite the fact the demographics fit real life perfectly.

#20 Posted by vfibsux (4205 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

Simpleton thinking, period. Why would anyone want to be forced to hire someone because of their race? Apply, have the best qualifications, and come in and ROCK the interview and MAKE me hire you THAT way....not with laws or rules. Why is this so hard to understand?

Would you want to be hired simply based on the color of your skin? I know I wouldn't. I haven't gotten jobs I applied to before and omg I'm white! Is that even possible in your world?

#21 Posted by HuggyBear1020 (456 posts) -

Positions should be filled by whoever is best qualified to actually do the job, regardless of skin color.

#22 Posted by MrGeezer (56103 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

Simpleton thinking, period. Why would anyone want to be forced to hire someone because of their race? Apply, have the best qualifications, and come in and ROCK the interview and MAKE me hire you THAT way....not with laws or rules. Why is this so hard to understand?

Would you want to be hired simply based on the color of your skin? I know I wouldn't. I haven't gotten jobs I applied to before and omg I'm white! Is that even possible in your world?

I don't know, but I'd assume that diversity staff writers still have to be able to write. If you walk up to the dude and treat him as if he got hired simply because he's black, then that's sort of you who's being the jerk.

#23 Posted by MakeMeaSammitch (3775 posts) -

gotta cast the pretty people.

#24 Posted by DharmaMember77 (2377 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@bobaban said:

Hollywood is a white persons world. With the occasional black thrown in. Just look at the movies right now, cast is 90% white typically.

Gotta love anecdotal statistics. In a Tyler Perry movie the cast is 100% black, unless you have some snobby rich white racist at a store or something in a scene. It all depends on the movie. Saying that.....

You do know close to 75% of this country is still white right? Yet if you have 4 stars in a movie and 1 is black to people like you he is the "token black guy"......despite the fact the demographics fit real life perfectly.

Yeah but a majority of movies take place in areas such as California, New York, and Florida which are all extremely diverse areas and there's really no reason why these movies should be filled with just white people. Heck as a New Yorker myself there are plenty of instances where I've become the "token white guy"

#25 Edited by bobaban (10553 posts) -

@vfibsux said:

@bobaban said:

Hollywood is a white persons world. With the occasional black thrown in. Just look at the movies right now, cast is 90% white typically.

Gotta love anecdotal statistics. In a Tyler Perry movie the cast is 100% black, unless you have some snobby rich white racist at a store or something in a scene. It all depends on the movie. Saying that.....

You do know close to 75% of this country is still white right? Yet if you have 4 stars in a movie and 1 is black to people like you he is the "token black guy"......despite the fact the demographics fit real life perfectly.

Yeah and how many black type Tyler Perry movies are released during the year? Very few, and most of them do not do well at all. The major blockbusters and top actors are white. Sure you can say Denzel, Halle, and Will but they are only a few against the many. There are basically no Asian or South American actors as well. I thought this is where anyone can make it.

#26 Posted by GamerForca (7078 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

I'm racist because I wouldn't want to, perhaps, lose out on a job for being white? lol ok then...

See, this is what happens when you don't read the links that threads are about.Diversity Hire is the

actual position

. It can only be filled by a person of color (or a woman or homosexual).

You wouldn't lose out on a Diversity Hire because you don't fit the bill. It's like a person working at Ikea worrying about losing a spot at Wal-Mart.

Because I assumed you read the link and then responded like that, I assumed you were saying that you don't like the idea of a position meant for people of color, which would make you a racist.

Pro-tip: Read links next time.

No, I understand the article and, more importantly, your position very well. A job exclusively for somebody of color is a good thing, helping us rid the writing industry of racism, because judging people based solely on their skin color isn't racist at all, as long as people of color are benefiting from it. Making all writers actually earn their job based on their qualifications is racist because at least one writer must always be hired based on their skin color... because that's not racist. See, I understand perfectly. Very forward-thinking logic.

#27 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10838 posts) -

This story is a perfect reason as to why I abhor Humans. All you carnal, primitive apes do is discriminate against each other. I fuckin' hate you all and want you all gone. GTFO of my Earth!

#28 Posted by lamprey263 (23095 posts) -

I thought Hollywood was supposed to be run by Jewish people.

#29 Posted by iowastate (7873 posts) -

I thought Hollywood was supposed to be run by Jewish people.

I thought Hollywood was run by rich liberals which is alright by me since i'm a relatively poor liberal.

#30 Edited by vl4d_l3nin (850 posts) -

All those damn lazy do nothing non-whites who are going to Hollywood and doing nothing, getting a free ride but at the same time are taking all our jobs somehow.

serious: HuggyBear1020 has the most coherent response.

#31 Posted by Flubbbs (2955 posts) -

I thought Hollywood was supposed to be run by Jewish people.

it is

#32 Posted by plageus900 (993 posts) -

Positions should be filled by whoever is best qualified to actually do the job, regardless of skin color.

+1

#33 Posted by Sword-Demon (6960 posts) -

hurts more than it helps.

Forcing companies to hire people based on their skin color is just as bad as companies not hiring people based on their skin color. Worse, actually, as this just means people will resent these diversity hires since they didn't earn their position - hurting the cause they're trying to promote.

come to think of it - isn't hiring based on skin color illegal?

#34 Edited by NeoGen85 (4155 posts) -

@Sword-Demon said:

hurts more than it helps.

Forcing companies to hire people based on their skin color is just as bad as companies not hiring people based on their skin color. Worse, actually, as this just means people will resent these diversity hires since they didn't earn their position - hurting the cause they're trying to promote.

come to think of it - isn't hiring based on skin color illegal?

I agree with everything you said.

In the end this isn't a perfect world. As Americans we like to think that our society is far beyond racism, especially those who were born in the 1980s and early 1990s. Even though extreme forms of racism are rarely seen we still have the remnants in other forms...being prejudice is one. Everyone is prejudice, and it might not be racial. You can be prejudice towards certain movies, fashion, gender, and even sexual preference. Many people today might not believe that their race is better than another or believe in oppressing others based off skin color. BUT! Some people have very strong preferences. And that's what we still deal with in American society today.

For instance, I grew up in a very diverse area and even today the same friends I grew up with dated interracially several times. I live in Charleston, South Carolina now and I have friends here who have never dated outside their race. To me, that's very...VERY..weird. But to them it isn't.

#35 Posted by thebest31406 (3323 posts) -

@eterpr0x: Diversity hiring is an arbitrary hiring practice that can't ensure proportionate hiring of minorities or women in the workplace. Discrimination can actually be maintained under this scheme as it gives the employer full discretion to dictate 'what is diverse' or 'proportionate'. The employer is not required to stop discriminating, he/she is simply urged to discriminate a little less. If I had 50 people working under me; 40 White guys, 5 White women and the remaining five being a variation of ethnic minorities, and then claimed this to be a diverse work place, who are you to tell me different? That's a diverse team as far as I'm concerned. Now, you can argue that the racial and gender makeup isn't equal or proportionate to those applying or to the ones on the existing roster but then 'diversity' doesn't require that. The requirement is to have a diverse workplace not an equitable one.

#36 Posted by gamerguru100 (10497 posts) -

hurts more than it helps.

Forcing companies to hire people based on their skin color is just as bad as companies not hiring people based on their skin color. Worse, actually, as this just means people will resent these diversity hires since they didn't earn their position - hurting the cause they're trying to promote.

come to think of it - isn't hiring based on skin color illegal?

Agreed. But since it's Hollywood, corruption is allowed to continue there.

#37 Posted by EterPr0x (20 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

I'm racist because I wouldn't want to, perhaps, lose out on a job for being white? lol ok then...

See, this is what happens when you don't read the links that threads are about.Diversity Hire is the

actual position

. It can only be filled by a person of color (or a woman or homosexual).

You wouldn't lose out on a Diversity Hire because you don't fit the bill. It's like a person working at Ikea worrying about losing a spot at Wal-Mart.

Because I assumed you read the link and then responded like that, I assumed you were saying that you don't like the idea of a position meant for people of color, which would make you a racist.

Pro-tip: Read links next time.

No, I understand the article and, more importantly, your position very well. A job exclusively for somebody of color is a good thing, helping us rid the writing industry of racism, because judging people based solely on their skin color isn't racist at all, as long as people of color are benefiting from it. Making all writers actually earn their job based on their qualifications is racist because at least one writer must always be hired based on their skin color... because that's not racist. See, I understand perfectly. Very forward-thinking logic.

I believe in fire with fire. Hollywood didn't become predominately white male by accident or because white males are the best writers, editors, executives, directors, actors, *everything*. You have an easier time making it in that world because Hollywood (and American society) is structured to benefit you. You might disagree with "Diversity Hire" but it is a conscious effort to balance what has been consciously imbalanced. You simply cannot disagree with Diversity Hire without hating the current climate of Hollywood even more.

#38 Posted by GamerForca (7078 posts) -

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

@eterpr0x said:

@GamerForca said:

As a white male writer, it's kind of hard for me to like it.

So you're a racist?

I'm racist because I wouldn't want to, perhaps, lose out on a job for being white? lol ok then...

See, this is what happens when you don't read the links that threads are about.Diversity Hire is the

actual position

. It can only be filled by a person of color (or a woman or homosexual).

You wouldn't lose out on a Diversity Hire because you don't fit the bill. It's like a person working at Ikea worrying about losing a spot at Wal-Mart.

Because I assumed you read the link and then responded like that, I assumed you were saying that you don't like the idea of a position meant for people of color, which would make you a racist.

Pro-tip: Read links next time.

No, I understand the article and, more importantly, your position very well. A job exclusively for somebody of color is a good thing, helping us rid the writing industry of racism, because judging people based solely on their skin color isn't racist at all, as long as people of color are benefiting from it. Making all writers actually earn their job based on their qualifications is racist because at least one writer must always be hired based on their skin color... because that's not racist. See, I understand perfectly. Very forward-thinking logic.

I believe in fire with fire. Hollywood didn't become predominately white male by accident or because white males are the best writers, editors, executives, directors, actors, *everything*. You have an easier time making it in that world because Hollywood (and American society) is structured to benefit you. You might disagree with "Diversity Hire" but it is a conscious effort to balance what has been consciously imbalanced. You simply cannot disagree with Diversity Hire without hating the current climate of Hollywood even more.

How is this solution fighting "fire with fire?" I don't think you even know what the hell that means. Yeah, I have an easier time making it in the writing world... a guy who grew up in the middle of nowhere rural South... sure... And how do you know the best writers aren't white? I watch basketball, and it sure looks like the best NBA players are black, should we start some diversity hiring over there? Are the best players only black because coaches write off white players before giving them a chance? No? Ok then?

#39 Edited by HuggyBear1020 (456 posts) -

@lamprey263 said:

I thought Hollywood was supposed to be run by Jewish people.

I thought Hollywood was run by rich liberals which is alright by me since i'm a relatively poor liberal.

Jewish people tend to be liberal and disproportionately wealthy.

#40 Posted by MrGeezer (56103 posts) -

Is this even done to make a more balanced and diverse workforce for the sake of equality? I thought it was done more so that they'd have a minority presence there to help give input on how the content would play out with non-white audiences.

You know, basically a sort of quality assurance thing before releasing the content. They'd have a black writer on hand to say to all the other white guys, "you know, black viewers might find this kind of offensive." And again, that probably doesn't help much if at all, because it's not as if a writer knows what the "black community" is gonna think just because he's black too.

That was the impression I got, at least. I could be wrong. But I think that actually makes a lot more logical sense. Movies are still sort of art, but first and foremost they're about making money. As expensive as movies can be, a run of bad movies can quickly run a company into the ground. From that point of view, I'd think it's a merit based system in which the people who get the jobs are the ones who make the most money. I don't see why they'd hire diversity writers just to make the writing staff look more diversified, because why would they? The public doesn't see the writing staff, the public sees the movie. Studios could easily get away with not hiring a single minority if they wanted to, so long as the movie is still profitable. If they're making a point of hiring a minority writer because he's a minority, then I would have thought that it's because they want a minority presence there to give insight on how the content will be perceived by minority audiences (which is something that DOES potentially translate into money earned or lost).