For many years, there have been few stories (books, TV, and movies) told from the perspective of minorities in the entertainment industry. Hollywood has long been known to cast white actors in roles that were intended for ethnically diverse characters. Emma Stone was cast for a character who was meant to be partially Chinese in Aloha. Jake Gyllenhaal was cast over an Iranian actor to play the prince in Prince of Persia. Scarlett Johansson was cast to play a lead role as a Japanese character in Ghost in the Shell. There are many other instances of Hollywood whitewashing too and many controversies that arose as a result.
The most recent Star Wars movie cast more minority actors, and the internet lost its mind, causing #BoycottStarWarsVII to trend on Twitter.
Save your money white people. Everyone knows the best days of the franchise are behind them.#boycottstarwarsvii
— Post American White (@OnToSomethingNu) October 19, 2015
— Trainspotter (@Trainspotter001) October 19, 2015
Spoiler alert: the boycott didn’t work and people who understand the value of having diverse casts fought back.
Lemme get this straight:
Wookies, Ewoks & Droids are fine but a BLACK PERSON is a problem?
Go home.You’re Drunk.
— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) October 19, 2015
The tide is starting to turn, actors in Hollywood are speaking out more, and the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has made the industry think twice about casting white leads in roles where the character is Asian, African, etc. The entertainment industry as a whole still has a long way to go to highlight more diverse stories.
But, we’re excited to share with you some books written by diverse authors that are being adapted to the screen and feature diverse casts as well! Because the world isn’t just filled with white people, and it’s about time that the entertainment industry reflects that.