Diverse casts in Hollywood

Hollywood. Yes, it’s the iconic industry that produces blockbuster movies, but it’s also traditionally known for its lack of diversity.

Twenty years ago, it wasn’t a surprise to find no movies starring people of color take home an Oscar, let alone be nominated. However, even more so recently, it seems as if people of color are finally being given the spotlight.

Movies such as “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” have been nominated for multiple awards, signifying progress towards racial equality. Even with last year’s “Get Out,” an explosion of public support was thrown towards director Jordan Peele for his choice to address racism with different underlying themes.

The movie was not only supported because of this, but also because he had a cast made up of people of color. Peele made sure to avoid the problem of being stereotypical with his characters and their problems, and he included a soundtrack that primarily came from black artists.

Junior Daishawd Shelton admires these decisions to produce more movies with diverse casts.

“I’d rather watch a movie that has an ethnic cast because it relates to the ethnic children and shows them that they can reach success,” he said.

However, he and others still think there is enough room for more diverse movies, which help to teach others of different races. “We still need more progress though because there’s only a few movies that have chose to actually show different cultures, like ‘Black Panther,’” Shelton added.

Even with the teachings of different cultures to the audience, there also comes some drawbacks, according to senior Carmina Amparo-Salmasan. “I don’t like how it’s stereotypical a little bit, but at least it shows a part of that culture,” she said.

“Crazy Rich Asians,” which was released last year, was meant as a way of “emphasizing the Asian culture,” but fell victim to including some stereotypes, Amparo-Salmasan said. No matter the small mistakes, she still admires the movie for signifying equality. “The film industry is making progress, even though ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was a little stereotypical.”

Hollywood hasn’t just done a good job of raising the representation of different ethnicities, but gender and sexualities as well. Last year, all eyes were on the new Warner Bros film “Ocean’s 8” because of its all female cast. The film was a success in terms of revenue and audience satisfaction. “If you just have a cast with a majority of them male, there’s a whole bunch of women that might not be able to relate,” freshman Kimi Matsumoto said. ”It’s getting better, but there’s always more room for better diversity.”

The spring of representation didn’t stop at all female casts and majority black casts. “Love, Simon,” a film from 20th Century Fox, stood out to audiences by being the first film released by a major studio to tell the story of a gay teenage romance.

The rom-com was able to successfully tell a story of a teen figuring out his sexuality without having this be the only focus of the film.

Hollywood has taken big leaps in terms of representation through film.

They have started to move away from majority white male casts as being the norm, and now towards having mixed casting. Audiences are now able to watch as these people from different ethnicities, sexualities, and genders are able to take the stage and represent their communities.