In the past few years, the entertainment industry has branched out by creating more roles for people of color. On the other hand, there still is a huge issue regarding colorism and the lack of acting roles for people of color. Specifically black and asian people.
Colorism has to be the most underlooked problem in the entire entertainment industry. It’s defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a darker skin complexion, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. Basically meaning that the industry tends to favor lighter skinned black people than darker skinned ones.
Back in 2018 there was a huge controversy surrounding the casting of Amandla Stenburg for the movie The Hate You Give. The main protagonist in the book is depicted as a dark skin girl yet Amandla, who is fairly light skinned was cast to play the role.
The book cover artist herself said that she was disappointed to find out that a light skin woman would be playing the role of a dark skinned woman.
When dark skin people are predominantly casted for movie roles it’s usually because of one common denominator, the story is about slavery or civil rights.
Movies such as Selma and the new movie about Harriet Tubman are two examples. The movie is cast with many successful and talented dark skin actors but it’s the only time we ever get to see a cast as such.
Although it’s uncommon, movies with strong black leads are still out there. Movies such as Black Panther, Get Out, Us, HIdden Figures, and Moonlight are great examples. Even television shows like Blackish.
Asian movies and television roles have also come a long way. Movies like Crazy Rich Asians impacted the asian community positively immensely.
Their are still protruding problems about the entertainment industry. One of them being how many films and shows with POC leads were snubbed at award shows. This enraged many viewers of awards shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes.
The 2020 Golden Globes snubbed many films and television shows with POC leads. One situation in particular was Ava Duvernay being snubbed for her four part mini-series titled “When They See Us” on Netflix. The limited series was about the “Central Park Five,” the five teenagers who were coerced and convicted of a horrific crime they did not commit. The moving series brought in 15 Emmy nominations and won two, one of them being ‘lead actor’ for Jharrel Jerome.
The industry is accepting and creating more roles for people of color but at the same time, their is a level of prejudice in the Hollywood entertainment industry that must be addressed sooner or later.