Module 4: Analyze

Chosen Topic: People of Color in American Television/Film

Back in Module 2, I discussed the importance of Inclusion in the film industry. I pointed out that in one of the largest film Studios, Marvel has made strides in more inclusion but needs to improve in leading roles in its upcoming phase 5 set of films. Here I will discuss Mary McNamara’s Los Angeles Times article on Hollywood’s depictions of “real America”.

When reading the article Mary argues and points out the hypocrisy of television and film for their lack of inclusion. She does offer backing of her argument. However, almost all are other Los Angeles Times Articles. This doesn’t change the supporting of her argument but it paints it in a narrow way showing that maybe this is an issue that Los Angeles Times writers only have.  While this sort of sourcing is better for the News outlet it lacks variety from other reputable resources, possibly more knowledgeable.

The article asks the following questions:

  • Who is a “real American”?
  • What can the entertainment do to provide more inclusion?
  • Where are diverse and inclusive stories and scripts?
  • When will our shift in culture and population fully reflect in Hollywood?
  • Why does diversity take a backseat in the film industry?
  • How can Hollywood make financially successful television and film but still be inclusionary in gender, race and sexual orientation?

However I think she missed a big question, what can the consumer do? While the updated Norman Lear show One Day at A Time was canceled on netflix it’s cult following got it picked up by a television network. It leads me to believe that a show like that isn’t popular or worth watching and makes the article lack nuance. But what should I do as a consumer who is fed up with the lack of inclusion or when my favorite show gets canceled? I believe most readers would already know and understand the lack of diversity in TV and movies.  But there is little to no outlook for the future? what improvements can be made? The article mostly reiterates something we already know but provides little options for the reader. The article successfully points out the disparity in representation but fails to provide why diversity and inclusion are important. Her solutions of just picking up more scripts are limited. There is much work beyond a network picking up stories for them to be successful. Much of the article stand from a centered place but does lean more liberal as it brings is a disdain for President Trump and His Administration view of “Real American”.  However, does it really answer it’s own headline question? How Liberal Hollywood Perpetuates The Myth of the “Real Americans“?

Overall I would give this article a B rating. She provides insight into a problem in Hollywood however, there lacks variety in sources or voices affected by the problem. Its political tie-in is limited and doesn’t fully develop the relationship between the two industries. It opens up dialogue but limits solutions for both Hollywood and media watchers like myself who would like to see more inclusion and variety in storytelling.