In 2017, whenever we watch a film and all the heroes are white-looking, and all the villains are black-looking, there is a problem. This is very racist, and not supported by fans.
We now see more minorities being the heroes of the stories or the "companion" of the hero. However, do people do this with a genuine intention? Or do they place these heroes strategically so no one complains?
We still see the main hero to be mainly white males in most stories, but there seems like there is a pressure to put minorities and I am wondering if these minorities were actually supposed to be there, and not placed there from pressure of current society. As a minority, I’d like to see stories where the main hero is a minority, but that these stories are genuine and that it was supposed to be like that from the beginning.
Having just graduated film school as a Producer, this discussion has come up quite often. There is no definitive answer, and yes, sometimes the minority is merely a marketing tool to broaden the audience of a film so that it grosses more money. Stereotypes are also an issue, case in point being the most recent Mummy remake. The actress cast as the mummy was in fact African/Egyptian, and people were up in arms that the film was "white-washing" the story. Something that happens in Australia (more frequently than I'd like), is that aboriginal actors will lose out on roles because they are "stereotypically" aboriginal - every race has various skin tones. Again, this all comes down to marketing - American distributors will take on an Australian film which asserts our "bushland/Dundee" ways, over something more contemporary. Knowing this, it is a grey area of racism. The creators aren't actively being racist, or placing a token (insert racial background here) character. What they're wanting is the marketing, which will allow them to get the notoriety to film something that is closer to their heart down the line. 9/10 times though, a script is typical written without any racial descriptors because it is up to the director's creative vision to determine who the character can be best portrayed as. One thing I learnt from screenwriting is that this, along with age, is best left out. It's frustrating, especially as a fresh filmmaker who wants to make stories about a broad range of characters. But until you have funding, and interest in distributors, a lot of the time we have to bite the bullet. Funnily enough the largest demographic who still go to movies are white women between ages 28-45, so basically mothers. Marketing, it's what Hollywood is built on, nowadays storytelling is left to film students and indie cinemas. – Joshua Haines4 months ago
I think it's important to have diversity in your writers and directors, not just the characters. If all of your writers and directors are straight white males, it makes sense that minority characters will feel forced. Producers are sadly a bit averse to hiring minority writers and directors, which is why, for example, Wonder Woman was amazing in her standalone film directed by Patti Jenkins but falls apart under Zack Snyder. – sikemeay4 months ago
When I am writing something, I like to include people of all sorts. Whether my characters be LGBT, from countries around the world or other racial groups (commonly represented or otherwise), disabled, etc, it has nothing to do with being inclusionary for the sake of it, but rather that diverse casts leads to diverse stories. – Dominick White4 months ago