The Corporatization of Diversity in the Arts

This generation has seen a reinvigorated interest in the representation of women and minorities in the arts past and present. Entire industries are racing to be more inclusive in terms of both fictional characters and real-life labor, to avoid stereotypes and sexualization in favor of agency, to make up for previous manifestations of prejudice, and to give more due recognition to women, nonwhites, LGBTQ persons, etc., for works of merit. To what extent is this a genuine cultural reckoning, and to what extent is this (speaking from the extreme polar opposite perspective) a cynical corporate ad strategy targeting millennials which isn’t really meaningfully changing the wealth-geared, elitist, social Darwinist neoliberal reality we live in? Where do we see this trend creating new stereotypes as opposed to new, truly refreshing narrative paradigms? One potential avenue for the writer to consider is the sustained neoliberal negligence towards issues of class, particularly in Trump’s America–as opposed to issues of sex, race, ethnicity and sexuality, discussion of which has no doubt been rightly rejuvenated.

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